Category Archives: Self-Reflection

Health Update 2011

I completed my first notebook of workout + eating data this morning and thought it would be a good time to reflect on what I’ve done since focusing on health & fitness after New Year’s Day.

Why I Did It

Coming off the delicious and baccanalia-esque Lawman/Peapods Wedding Extravadanza I decided to get down and get healthy.  I’d gradually gained back a ton of weight after slimming down to 190-ish for our own wedding in August 2010, and I wanted to shed the weight and go for an all-time low.  My first step was getting a book recommended by some people in California: The 4 Hour Body.  I really liked the experimental style espoused by Tim Ferriss and got excited about trying different combinations of diet, supplements, and exercise to find what worked for me.

How I Started

An important aspect of losing weight that’s explained at the beginning of the book is that there are three levers you can use to lose weight: your diet, your exercise, and dietary supplements.  It’s so much easier to lose weight if you regulate what you put into your body, as opposed to eating what you want and then ‘working it off.’  I decided to put much of my initial effort into eating right, and only working out three times a week max. 

My starting routine was to go on the Slow-Carb diet detailed in Chapter 7 (The Slow Carb Diet I: How to Lose 20 pounds in 30 Days Without Exercise).  It exphasizes no “white” carbohydrates (ex: all bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and fried food with breading), eating the same meals over and over again, not drinking calories, no fruit, and taking one day off a week from the diet to eat what you want (sensibly).  Along with that I concentrated on hitting the gym two to three times a week (mostly two) and used a vitamin stack called PAGG that, INHO, the jury is still out on (see the link for one opinion that I basically agree with).

Where and When I Had Trouble

It was super easy to keep to the diet/exercise/supplements the first two months, including when we were in Saint Martin for our honeymoon.  However, I started to falter in March as I went off the diet little by little, while upping my workouts.  As I continue to preach, however, diet is more important; I found that I could not offset eating badly by working out more.  The math just wasn’t there. 

It turned out that I was also making huge mistakes while lifting that were slowly hurting me.  By late April my shoulders hurt 24 hours a day due to lifting incorrectly, and I felt that I had really sprained my rotator cuffs in both shoulders.  Just as I was switching my routine to be more lower body-focused to give my shoulders time to heal I made a mistake while doing a leg press and cracked my rib cartilage.  At that point I couldn’t do anything with my shoulders, nor anything with my core.  I was relegated to running pretty slowly as my only activity from late April until early June.

Sometime in the spring I also scaled back the amount of water I was drinking, which was a huge mistake.  I should be drinking roughly twice as much water as I am on any given day.

Once summer hit I also hit diet problems in that I just started drinking a ton at cookouts and eating lots of brats, etc.  By degrees I was eating well (grilled veggies instead of chips, for example) but it didn’t help that I was just eating so often.

My Tools

While I continued to record my food consumed, vitamins consumed, weight data, body fat data, and workout data in my Workout Notebook (at right) from Day One until today I also started using some great data collection/data interpretation tools over the last six months.  I’ll list them below, along with what they do and what my opinion is of them.

  • Withings W-fi Scale: In late February I purchased the Withings wi-fi scale; a digital scale that does body fat and BMI measurements that will save the data to a web site where you can see graphs and such over time.  More importantly, the withings web site is OAuth enabled so that other fitness web sites can suck in your body measurements to chart against various activities.  My Opinion: this is my number one favorite tool; it’s great to have easy storage of my daily weight and BF% so that I can go back later and see progress.  Can you do this with a notebook? Yes. Is it 100 times easier to have it automatically saved? Yes.
  • Fitbit Tracker/ Fitbit tracker is a little device you attach to yourself that measures your daily activity.  It’s basically a souped-up pedometer that records intensity as well as steps taken/distance traveled.  You can then log activities that will overlay on top of the gathered data.  It also does sleep tracking to show you how much sleep you actually get per night.  My Opinion: nice to have; it was interesting to see my sleep patterns at first but I lost the band during our house move.  I also paid $49 for a year of advanced analytics just to see what they were all about.  You can slice your data a skrillion ways, but none of them actually help me work out better.
  • App: I used the runkeeper app a while back and was unimpressed. Their new versions are great, however.  It mixes in iPod playlist suypport, GPS route tracking, and auto-announces customized stats (ex: every 5 minutes tell me total distance, total time, and current pace.  The basic tools are free, and it makes activity tracking a lot easier and more fun.  My Opinion: Great, free, and when used alongside the Fitbit tracker is a great data collection tool.

By The Numbers

First off, click here to see my complete weight graph over the last 3 months.

On January 8th, 2011 I started at 199lbs and 30% body fat. As of today, June 20th, 2011 I weigh 184.6lbs with 19.1% body fat. My goal (pretty much pulled out of thin air) was a body weight of 165lbs and a body fat percentage target of 15% or under.

My lowest points for each statistic was a weight of 177.5lbs on May 4th, and a low body fat percentage of 18.6% on June 2nd.


I feel I’ve definitely created a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle since January.  The trap is continually falling into the trap where you let your diet slide and think you can make it up by running an extra time this week.  That sort of mentality really steamrolls until you’re at the point where you could run all day every day and not offset the absolutely unhealthy food you’re eating regularly.

I’m on the upswing when it comes to my workouts (back from injury!) but I stalled on the diet a long time ago.  My plan is to pivot on this report and reflection and get back into better eating habits in order to take advantage of my overall healthier lifestyle.

We will continue!

Appendix 1: My Workouts

Over the course of six months I used two clear lifting programs (and started a third today, which I’ll also include).  I would have transitioned to a third sooner, but the pain in my shoulder made me take a month and a half off from lifting while I healed up. 

I prefer to follow a two-day split on lifting;  I have an “A” workout and a “B” workout that I will alternate during the week.  My target (as of today) is to get one “A” day per week, one “B” day per week, and one day of personal training where I do a mix of many different activities (including short, hard cardio).

First Program (2/18/2011 – 4/2/2011)

“A” Day

  • Flat Bench Press (4 sets of 12)
  • Keiser machine Fly (3 sets of 12)
  • Leg extension (3 sets of 12)
  • Step Mill (3 times at 90 secs each)
  • Front Squat ( 4 sets of 12)
  • Medicine ball pushup (3 sets of 15)
  • Biceps exercise (I choose/variable) (3 sets of 10)
  • Triceps exercise (I choose/variable) (3 sets of 10)


“B” Day

  • Incline/decline Bench Press (4 sets of 12)
  • Cable pulldown (3 sets of 12)
  • Cable column row (3 sets of 12)
  • Jump rope (3 times at 90 – 120 secs)
  • Deadlift (4 sets of 12)
  • Reverse fly (3 sets of 12)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 15)
  • Ball rollout (3 sets of 12)
  • Plank (3 times at 60 secs)


Second Program (4/2/2011 – 4/15/2011)

“A” Day

  • Back Squat (4 sets of 10)
  • Medicine ball pushup (3 sets of 15/20)
  • Leg extension (3 sets of 10)
  • Step Mill (3 or 4 times at 90 – 120 secs)
  • Flat bench (4 sets of 10)
  • Keiser machine Fly (3 sets of 10)
  • Pull over (3 sets of 10)
  • Chin ups (3 sets of 10)
  • Shaman w/keiser (3 sets of 8 each side)

“B” Day

  • Deadlift (4 sets of 10)
  • Cable pulldown (3 sets of 10)
  • Cable row (3 sets of 10)
  • Jump rope (3 times at 90 – 120 secs)
  • Incline/decline Bench Press (4 sets of 10)
  • Reverse fly (3 sets of 10)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 12)
  • Plank (3 times at 45 – 60 secs)


Third Program (6/20/2011 – ???)

“A” Day

  • DB Military Press (4 sets of 10)
  • Calf raises (3 sets of 12)
  • High rows (3 sets of 10)
  • Shoulder shrugs (3 sets of 10)
  • Treadmill sprints (4 times at 90-180 secs)
  • Pull ups (3 sets of 10)
  • Leg press (3 sets of 10)
  • Cable column row (3 sets of 10)
  • Double leg lowering (4 sets of 10)

“B” Day

  • Flat bench press (4 sets of 10)
  • Glut/ham press (3 sets of 10)
  • Fly (DB or keiser) (3 sets of 10)
  • Step Mill (4 times at 90 – 120 secs)
  • Walking lunges (3 sets of 16)
  • BOSU pushups (3 sets of 15)
  • Front raise (3 sets of 10)
  • V-press (3 sets of 10)
  • Ball rollout (4 sets of 10)


We Wish You A Merry Tristmas

…and a Happy New Year. I don’t know if I’ll get another post in before the holidays, so consider this a farewell to the ol’ 2007. It was a terrific year; my first back in Madison. From the Vegas trip in February, to the Great Snowy La Guardia Debacle in March, my wisdom teeth ordeal in April, and Our First Camping Trip in May. The summer was filled with the Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Chill, the Freedom Grill, and many screamed obscenities into the night regarding Derrick Turnbow and Ned Yost. We had a few speedbumps along the way, mostly involving the Chicago Cubs and their generally terrible fans. The fall was filled with magic fairy dust and work. My twenty-ninth birthday came and went, and then started working on an iPhone application at work which was cool. Ever since the summer I’ve been on an advanced debt-repayment schedule, and it came to a head this week when I sold my truck and paid off the loan I had on it. Now, as the year ends, I am looking forward to a year where I am on foot and moving forward.

The Thick of It

I’m about 2/3 through Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and I can see why Arlo recommended it. Some of things Klosterman talks about are interesting, some I take issue with, but most seem like the type of ravings that a particularly astute fellow would bellow after 10 bong hits and an hour of watching Double Dare on the Games and Sports Network at two in the morning. Uh, in Pacifica. I’m certainly not coming out of this reading a devout follower of the Church of Chuck, but I’d love to get drunk and chat about it with someone.

I apparently exist in a social vacuum wherein no one will lay claim to my allegiance. Traditional media insists that “Generation X” is defined as anyone born between 1965 and 1977. On the other side of the fence, (and believe me, this varies more and is somewhat less specific) I’ve seen the media define Generation Y (or “What Came Next,” or any of the other banal shit they use to define generations these days) as anyone born between 1980 and 2000. I just checked Wikipedia, however, and it defines Y as being born between 1978 and 1999. Whatever; the point is I was born in 1978. The Point Is that I’m either the youngest Gen Xer or the Grandaddy of the Gen Yers (I mean, christ, I’m sharing that classification with some 6 year old shit right now, and I’m 28).

All in all, who cares what fucking generation I fall into? Some do, I shouldn’t, but I make a note of it just because Klosterman’s book is about all the popular culture Gen Xers, people who fall into that age range, experienced and it is the shit I grew up in. Sugary cereal, fucking Star Wars and Saved by the Bell. The major difference, and perhaps the reason I shouldn’t be considered part of Gen X is that while I experienced all the same stuff, it was at a vastly different level of perception. These kids were 15 years old in 1985, I was 7. It’s funny that Klosterman relates that Empire Strikes Back was the first movie he attended in a theater, it was my first movie-going experience as well, but being 3 I don’t remember much beyond being vaguely scared of Dagobah and wanting to own Yoda as a pet.

The other place we part ways is Music; I feel comfortable saying that I didn’t really listen to music in any way until I was a freshman in high school and I got my first CD player. My first CD ever: Weird Al. My second CD ever: Pearl Jam Vs. That puts me so out of the realm of musical consciousness that I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but there you go. Everything I know today about 80s music (and boy oh boy it still ain’t much) I’ve learned in the last 5 years.

I think I’m a weirdo, though. My memory is horrible (bordering on tragic, which borders on having some sort of early Alzheimer’s) and I don’t remember things well at all. Talk to me about something that happened 6 months ago; you’ll see. In the end, I’ll probably need just to chronicle my life for me. “What? I knew a guy called ‘the madd scientist’? What?”

It Was Fun While It Lasted

Five years ago I moved out to California with a trailer full of clothes, books, and a computer. The good people at Intuit gave me a signing bonus of $5,000 (before taxes) and I used it to buy a Golden Tee 99 arcade machine off eBay for ~$2000 (including shipping). I had many late nights in San Jose playing Whazz with the Madd Scientist (before he was even known as such). I dominated him so thoroughly and embarassingly that I named myself the Whazzmaster. It’s not like I made him call me that at home, I just fancied myself The Whazzmaster. When it came time to buy a domain name for my new website I naturally used it, because duh, it fucking rules. Fun was had.

Five years passed: I’ve moved it four times (three with Judd’s much-appreciated help) a total of 10 flights of stairs and it is a heavy fucker. I haven’t played it much lately but when Scientist was out here earlier this year we hit a few rounds. Fun times, fun times.

I just sold it for $500 plus a $20 tip for helping the guy bring it down to his van. The dream has died.

*sigh* … say lah vee. Feel free to reminisce about how whazz has affected your lives. I know I will tonight. Break out the whiskey.

my lord and master
The Shrine on our desk.

Can I still call myself whazzmaster? Or do I have to change the name of the website? So many questions. Literary Corner

What’s your favorite novel, and make a case for it. Like, not just that it made you giggle once but that it altered your outlook on something in your life; whether you still believe in the revelation today or not.

Mine: I want to say Vandover and The Brute, but my revelation there was not so much something about life but something about the construction of literature itself (as in, the act of authoring).  Instead, I may have to go with a nonfiction book such as Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.  It brutally deconstructs the way that humanity has, for centuries, invoked superstition and religion to fill the gaps of human knowledge.  I still read it every so often when I want to see Carl Sagan call alien-abduction advocates “crazy”.

That may not be the best example, but it informed my rational outlook on life and so it did affect me.  McTeague: I love, and love reading it, but did it affect me personally? I’m not sure.

And you?


Just had a small earthquake while I was sitting here working on my Rails app. A bit unsettling after all these years in California; it’s kinda weird when you’re sitting on the 3rd floor and it feels like a giant hand is rocking the building ever so slightly.

By the way, Scientist, I don’t know if you ever ended up watching the Firefly series on DVD, but I found something else you might be interested in. I’d heard lots of good stuff about the new Battlestar Galactica series on SciFi channel so I bought the miniseries on DVD. It’s pretty decent, and they actually tell a somewhat logical story given the background. I’d recommend picking up the miniseries DVD, and if you like it get the first season DVD later.

Finally, I had my Intuit review this week and got a promotion. I’m now a Senior Software Engineer, which is cool. It also just so happens that July 9th was my five year anniversary with Intuit. Five years ago roundabouts wwhazz, samahama, and rock chalk escorted me out of Madison and into California. It’s been a long, strange road whazzmaster. Thanks for being there with me…

whizz whazz

Let’s Chat,

It’s been a long road, whazzmaster, and a lot of you have been here for awhile. You shook off your boots and stared in wonderment at countless unimaginable poker hands gone awry and for some god-knows-why reason decided to stay awhile. Was it my rapier wit? Pictures of an absinthe-drunk Scientist falling down in Mission Ale House? The saga? My madd photoshopping skills?

I’m so sorry.

I’d like to class up the joint a bit and I’ve got some idears, but they’re not quite ready for primetime yet. Plus, you jerks would probably wreck it anyway. In any case, I’ll be pushing tetris blocks behind the scenes, young jeezy, and you can bet your ass that when I get a Four-Row-Special that shit’ll go bling-blung. Until then feel free to amuse yourself. And if, by the grace of god I ever finish my special project, and no one is left to see it… fine, I’ll go get new friends.

— A whole new world/A new fantastic point of view/No one to tell us no/Or where to go/Or say we’re only dreaming

I Am Brilliant, You Are Not

“what do you learn on NOTHING. i think there is a lesson to be learned here moneypenny. teach the children.” — Cal

Watch and learn, Cal. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. Here’s a test to see how awesome your English skrills really are. I will pwn you.

English Genius
You scored 93% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 77% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can’t find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don’t. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you’re not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 35% on Beginner
You scored higher than 73% on Intermediate
You scored higher than 48% on Advanced
You scored higher than 72% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

Updated Googlism

Via Googlism:

moneypenny is and has always been the devoted and dependable
moneypenny is the only character aside from bond to have appeared in every film
moneypenny is also wearing uniform
moneypenny is vice president of research and technology of manyworlds
moneypenny is possibly unique in bridging the gap between the temp agency and the independent virtual assistant
moneypenny is your australian virtual assistant
moneypenny is proud to boast the following australia companies as clients
moneypenny is available to speak wherever there are people who are interested in being encouraged in the faith
moneypenny is president of emaginit
moneypenny is a “quick strike” idea man who carved out a successful living by marketing ideas rather than elaborate advertising campaigns
moneypenny is played by babs
moneypenny is here all day
moneypenny is a virtual reception
moneypenny is a productivity tool which enables the processing of a mass volume of documents
moneypenny is always there to welcome bond home from his adventures in far off places
moneypenny is now famous for delivering set after set of high
moneypenny is britain’s overwhelming favourite “dream pa”
moneypenny is overshadowed by her new
moneypenny is desperate and ‘m’ is worried
moneypenny is trying to put together his best six minutes worth of material
moneypenny is a 7/8 chilean female
moneypenny is rescued
moneypenny is a james bond character
moneypenny is required for routing editing a moneypenny license is not necessary to use servant
moneypenny is the
moneypenny is in his 4th and final year performing comedy at ou
moneypenny is employed by the client or any related business or entity in a permanent position
moneypenny is one of the few constants on the ground in australia who represents and understands the issues of the domestic and off shore producer and lobbies
moneypenny is a desktop management tool that helps keep a desktop tidy
moneypenny is being asked to explain the epidemic of corporate scandals
moneypenny is in
moneypenny is allways the one to inform bond to report to m’s office
moneypenny is the one and only person in the world who bond can truly call a friend
moneypenny is safely returned
moneypenny is as
moneypenny is quite a funny role to play
moneypenny is billed by his accountant in march for the time he has spent on the questions of the tax office about his declaration
moneypenny is his vision of a bright new tomorrow
moneypenny is the labor representative on arc
moneypenny is still around? geez i thought they broke up?
moneypenny is inmiddels 10 maanden in business en beschikt over 150 virtuele assistenten die werken voor meer dan 50 opdrachtgevers
moneypenny is the last screen before you start the level
moneypenny is currently the international and legislative representative for the transport workers union of america
moneypenny is being held in the crawford county jail on a $10
moneypenny is shown to have a life outside the office
moneypenny is there just to provide some flirtatious commentary that will inspire laughter
moneypenny is president and owner of sel
moneypenny is a labor member of the amtrak reform council
moneypenny is an
moneypenny is a superb guitar pop band from sydney
moneypenny is more qualified that most to talk about the issue
moneypenny is james bond’s girlfriend or secretary
moneypenny is
moneypenny is no longer the sad spinster of
moneypenny is no longer the rather sad
moneypenny is your one
moneypenny is the one woman bond has never had an intimate relationship
moneypenny is teasing and catty
moneypenny is a middle
moneypenny is and has always been the devoted and dependable secretary of one mr
moneypenny is tuthill’s sales coordinator at its grimsley
moneypenny is vice president of manyworlds consulting
moneypenny is leaving covanta and on friday becomes cfo of 7
moneypenny is a bay 1990
moneypenny is a lecturer in banking & finance gene shearer is a biologist with the us national institute of
moneypenny is a client of drno; moneypenny`s current default domain is sfi
moneypenny is a team of professional film and television accountants with over 20 years’ experience
moneypenny is as good as ever
moneypenny is m’s personal secretary
moneypenny is the only woman that james can’t have?
moneypenny is director of reach student services
moneypenny is the only character other than bond to be in all of the official bond
moneypenny is murdered by a returned