Time to get back on the wagon – 4

Well it’s been about a month since my last boring post on weight so I guess it’s about time for an update. It’s been tough staying on track since every Saturday since a month ago I’ve been doing something where Saturday is my “bad” day and I eat more, especially stuff with salt (like popcorn) and therefore I often bounce up by 3-4 lbs in just one day (so-called water weight due to the salt). But during the weeks I’ve made some progress so I can show a few updates. Here’s the updated version of my chart I showed a month ago:


So I’m making progress but slowly (was hitting 2lbs/week, now down to just 1.2lbs/week due to those “bad” Saturdays). At least the green markers show I’ve gotten out of that range I had during the middle of the summer, plus recovered from two vacations. Unfortunately with holiday events approaching it’s going to be hard to make much progress so I’ll be lucky if I can hit my target (180) before end of year.

So let’s look at this over a longer timeframe:


The blue markers are “official” weighins (on Sunday) and the red markers are the missed weightins but with an interpolated value. The green dots are my 104 week moving average, but the more interested one is the purple line (quarterly, 13-week, moving average). You can see the two clear minimums I hit with subsequent (although fortunately not major) gains. I’ve turned the corner since my last “time to get back on wagon post), but nowhere hear enough to get back down to my target. But the good news is that after losing 65lbs I’ve now spent over a year in just a 10 pound range, not too bad at maintenance. But due to these strange 3-4 lb gain in a single day I’ve never hit a “wet weight” (i.e. eating full meals days before) of my 180 target, so while I’m on this kick (plus winter time and thus no vacations to interfere) I really want to get that purple line down to 180 (meaning I’ve held that level for 1/4 year). I’m on track to do that but it won’t be until about February or March of 2015 where I have a chance to hit it.

Here’s a more clear graph showing what I’ve done since Apr2014 with a curve fit that fits my intuitive notion of what my “discipline” has been:


This graph covers the daily data I have since May2014 (the gaps are vacations). I was holding around 185lbs before my month-long camping vacation. Upon return I kept up exercise but didn’t exercise “dieting” (did try to control eating, however) and so I got that drift upwards, then about week 96 was where I went back on dieting, with only a little improvement, then the next gap is two vacations that blew that up, but since week 104 I’ve gone back on full dieting and maximum exercise (with those bad Saturdays) but clearly having the trend in the right direction. I’ll continue this (with holiday meal exceptions) through end of year and hopefully can start 2015 near my planned target (180) and then can hit about 175 (“dry” weight, thus 180 “normal” weight) and hold that into spring. We’ll see.

So I won’t bother your, Dear Reader, with this boring stuff for another month or so.


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Blope: Rage is not passion!

If Florida State’s coach is willing to go by the silly name of Jimbo then Nebraska’s Bo Pelini deserves my new nickname for him. Lots of people call him Blo, alternatively for being a BLOwhard but also because he BLOws his top so much.

Did any of you notice the sideline attention Blo got for yelling and going ballistic at Corey Cooper (who had the most tackles of the day). Sure a coach needs to call out a player who misses a critical tackle, but to rage at him, to go apoplectic. And even that wasn’t enough, Blo followed him around and kept after him. And then Blo later says:

“When it flipped, it flipped,” Pelini said. “Somewhere along the way, it was like our guys totally lost their confidence.”

Yep, Blo it flipped right after you threw your fit at Corey, just think (don’t wait until watching the film), maybe YOU caused this! Then he says:

“You know what? I don’t get into all these big-picture talks,” he said. “That’s one football game. This program has won a lot of football games.”

Well, Blo that was just one tackle for Corey, he made lots of others – seems like the same answer. So maybe Shawn Eichorst should learn a little “passion” and rage at Blo like he likes to do with his players.

Just for a moment let’s think about that play. Corey is chasing down Gordon and he’s got one shot – how does he go for him? In that split second where a kid has to think about everything he’s learned and been taught, he decides to go low. Who knows, maybe his coach told him to do that (i.e. watching the film they thought it’s really hard to arm tackle an elusive back like Gordon and knocking his feet out is the way to play him). Who knows, maybe even Blo told him to do this. But Blo has to explode – one play, one tackle, and after that the defense falls apart. Blo, the defensive genius, with all his “passion” BLOws up his own team with his unrestrained anger, anger that maybe he won’t wheedle a big raise out of Eichorst this year.

Steve Sipple calls it – Blo’s supposed “passion” and defensive genius is wearing a little thin after multiple BLOwouts, esp. by Wisconsin. The worst run defense ever (give Gordon his due for his positive record, but let’s not forget the negative record Blo just set). Tom Shatel, who probably has earned the grudge he seems to carry, after Blo’s abuse of the press, nails it:

Pelini was hired because he could teach defense. He would pump passion and confidence back into the Blackshirts. He was full of swagger and bravado and tough talk.

That’s right, all talk – no walk. Blo loses worse than Callahan ever could have, yet the Bolievers still think lack of anger management and rage is “passion” and Blo certainly demostrates that. But is abusing his players the way to maximize their performance?

Contrast Blo’s explosion with Wisconsin’s coach after Gordon fumbled:

“Coach Simon stayed with me, like he has been all year. And he just told me: ‘Keep your mind into it. You worked so hard, nobody can take this moment from you. Stay in the game. There are a lot of guys looking up to you to make some plays.’”

So Gordon, after a poor start, goes on to set a huge record – let’s see which coach knows how to motivate players? Simon puts energy in his players, Blo eats the energy out of his players.

No, rage is not passion.

No, watching the tape on Tuesday is not making real-time gameday adjustments (Blo is too slow to react, he still said he didn’t know what happened immediately after the game – is that a thinking coach? Or just a madman blinded by his rage.

So, Shawn, you’re the only one Blo intimidates – grow some brass ones and do you job – fire the BLOwhard. Not just for his rage and temper, but because he’s too slow to think on his feet and the only thing in his head is too much anger and not enough intelligence. Fire him because he’s killing this team, who deserves better, with his abuse and his stupid offense (can’t even blame his running QB who can’t throw because it was the defense that fell apart yesterday, even beyond how poorly the offense did (or would do in any game against a quality opponent).

This one really is on you Blo, and as Steve says:

The latest embarrassment is frankly inexplicable for a program with Nebraska’s wide array of resources and energy poured into the program. The coaching staff is stabilized. There are no good excuses.

and as Tom says:

For Nebraska, the snow fell like teardrops.

 This is sad now.

There are no more words. There are no more excuses. There’s only a Nebraska football program that can’t stop spinning its wheels, keeps driving itself into the same ditch.

Bo Pelini was supposed to be the tow truck. But seven years later, NU is still stuck, maybe more than ever. And it’s obvious Pelini doesn’t know how to get it out.

So Shawn, instead of another raise this year, it’s time for a new coach. Even if you’re just a lawyer and terrified to have to hire a coach, pay attention to what happened to Steve Pederson!


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McDonalds: Don’t Use GMO Potato

The nutrition scolds already hate McDonalds and will say anything nasty about it they can. McDonalds has aggressively moved toward calorie labeling, but: a) it’s not enough, and, b) somehow it’s even bad they did this because, well, er, lots of silly explanations. Other than colas McDonalds (or maybe just all fast food, except, of course, Chipotle with their ingenious “fresh” propaganda campaign) is evil and can’t possibly do anything right.

Now what I’m getting at is the announcement of a new GMO potato, by Simplot (already a major supplier to McDonalds). The potato bruises less easily (who cares about that, if potatoes were locally sourced, even though they don’t grow in much climates in the U.S., bruising wouldn’t be an issue when the hippies lovingly bring in a single handful of potatoes, it’s that evil “factory” agriculture that causes bruising anyway). And it has less of a known carcinogen, oh, but that doesn’t matter since McDonald will just add more carcinogens anyway. McDonalds, you can’t win this one. You combine the despised fast food with GMO and the nutrition nuts will have a field day denouncing you.

Now of course one approach McDonalds could adopt is the in-your-face Repug approach of rollin’ coal or more guns in schools. That is, for certain issues you assume: a) liberals are idiots and commies and anti-American and whatever and just decide to not care if they vote or buy or support your product, party, cause, whatever – since compromise and dialog are for pussies, and the purest partisan bullying is the only way for real men, or, b) we’ll get more sales/votes from those who support us (than we’ll lose) by kicking sand in the face of the other guys.

So McDonalds get out your transfats and pour on the salt and load up on sugar and dump the nutrition statements and add these GMO potatoes and just go for it – people who criticize McDonalds aren’t going to buy anything from you anyway, not matter how much you try to kiss their ass, so go the other way – those people are commie pussies and real ‘mercins eat greasy fries made from high tech potatoes.

Now I doubt the marketing department at McDonalds is going to take a Duck Dynasty or Sarah Palin or Scalia approach, so how can they possibly add an improved potato to their menu without it getting the leftie’s anti-science campaign. It’s just amazing – the idiot religinut right attacks science over evolution and climate change and the left chimes in over anti-vax and anti-GMO, both sides equally ignorant of any real science. Is there any chance for us at all?


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Fat chance on this idea; GMO probiotics!

Pardon the pun (or cliche) since this post is about fat. From the news I selected an article about the possible connection of gut bacteria and obesity. The popular press version (IOW, dumbed down from real study) actually reports multiple findings and this one really caught my eye:

Another study, reported in July, detailed the creation of a probiotic that researchers say could prevent obesity.

Senior study author Sean Davies, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, and colleagues genetically modified a strain of bacteria that colonizes the human gut – Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 – to produce a compound called N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE), which can reduce food intake.

Are you kidding me! If there are two things that don’t mix, oil and water, it’s probiotic nuts and GMOs – a GMO bacteria you ingest and grow in your gut! The anti-GMO idiots freak out over foods you eat with NO LIVING GMOs and you think they won’t really freak when you try to feed them living things (and E. coli to boot which few nutrition scolds know has multiple strains and only a few, in bad hamburger, make you sick, but this is way too subtle a distinction for the typical non-science-degreed nutritionists who can’t make such fine fact-based distinctions).

I got a really good laugh out of this – good luck trying to feed screwed up health nuts living GMOs.


Now, as to the main study discussed in this paper my initial response is skepticism. But I let my gut instinct rule my judgment I’d be as stupid a Jenny McCarthy. So, given what little I can glean from the popular press report, is this a potentially valid study? Let’s look at a few criteria:

  1. are the authors quacks or respectable – respectable as far as I can tell
  2. do they come from major institutions with no vested interests – yes, as far as I can tell (don’t know if Dannon or Yoplait paid for this study, which influences outcomes even in reputable institutions)
  3. did they publish in a real and significant journal – yep, Cell is top of the pack
  4. did they have adequate sample size for statistical significance – a little small, but minimally adequate
  5. does their protocol make sense (i.e. simple things like control groups) – yes, as far as it is reported
  6. are their results transparent and available for confirmation or disputation – unclear, but I’d assume so
  7. any red flags of bias – none, visible but frankly it is possible in this case

So there is nothing to reject this study and its conclusions, BUT, as everything else in science, it still should be viewed as provisional.

  • Once others have replicated (or enlarged on) this study and confirmed or disputed the results,
  • once knowledgeable readers have skeptically (but an honest and informed skepticism, not just anti-POV like anti-vax or anti-GMO or (LOL at this designation), climate “skeptics” (i.e. paid Koch shills)),
  • and once more detailed mechanisms are elucidated (for instance, if Christensenellaceae minuta seems to be a casual factor, what genomic and molecular specifics would indicate the causation pathway (possibly this bacteria just makes you sick and reduces the efficiency of intestines, not an ideal way to get weight reduction)),

then this result begins to take on the sheen of being real facts and meaningful.

But until then, yogurt peddlers, don’t start claiming even more miraculous claims for your already popularized “superfood”.

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Good-night America, Welcome to Kochistan

Well, you did it – you put the billionaires and the religinuts in charge, two more years of gridlock with stupid weekly repeals of Obamacare and unending impeachment hearings. But, be aware, the old adage of be careful what you wish for is going to bite you on the ass.

Hey, religinuts – yep, now you can pass prayer in school, but now face the internecine wars of WHICH prayers it’s going to be. Catholics, get ready for an end to your coalition of nut jobs, they’re be after you now. Anti-vaxxers and truthers, it’s your turn now, the war on science and women just won a major victory.

But as your jobs move to China and your 401Ks are looted by Wall Street you can take comfort that you’ll be able to bash brown-skinned people and gays – I’m sure that will make up for the hole in your paychecks. Let’s just get busy, like we will in Nebraska, in voting no taxes on billionaires and raising taxes on everyone else, just like it’s worked out in their home base of Kochsas. You thought 2008 was bad, wait until the toothless and tepid Dodd-Frank is appealed and Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein get the rest of your money.

Oh and how about all those new wars you’ll start. More deaths, more people hating Kockistan, I’m sure that’s going to be fun. But you think you stopped Sharia law here so you can install xtian law instead. Let the witch burnings begin while we watch the rest of the world continue to pass us in almost every category.

Yes, it’s a new day in Kochistan. You’ll get your repeal of Roe and more guns. The rich will get richer, esp. as they figure out how to loot Social Security. Oh, and all you old folks who thinking voting conservative will get rid of welfare deadbeats – enjoy your cuts to Medicare now that you’ve got the gubmint out of it. Duck Dynasty and Sarah and Ted will rule.

Yes, you did it – now enjoy it.

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Can’t watch the election results

It’s just too awful to think about. Two years on non-stop repeals of Obamacare (and vetoes) and government shutdowns and impeachment. Nothing done to address the real problems. What an irony that Mitchell claims Repug control will eliminate gridlock – sure dictators never have to worry about gridlock.

The only good news is it appears that New Hampshire has rejected carpetbagger (and tea bagger) Scott Brown. At least they have some sense.

And I sure am glad I don’t live in Texas, at least if I had kids who would be taught creationism and ridiculous revisionist history in schools, or worse, be a woman. Maybe Texas will be the next Kochsas, the ultraright paradise that is completely broken.

Let 2016 race start is earnest now. The good news is that Mittens can’t resist so he’ll distract the Repugs for a while, maybe help Cruz get it, who is the best choice to make sure the Repugs lose.

But it’s gonna be awful!

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Sometimes American are just plain stupid; SUVs

I almost thought it was a joke and then had to laugh when I read this article, that with a minor drop in gas prices Americans are flooded back to buying gas-guzzling SUVs. Do we have an attention span longer than a few weeks? For a nation that panics over four cases of Ebola I suppose not.

The drop in gasoline prices is small and undoubtedly will be short-lived. Can these people do math? Of course not, we don’t want to teach that any more since it’s too hard. For a brief time, due to bizarre circumstances and my desperation, I actually drove my parents’ monster Suburban. They’d outfitted it with an extra large gas tank since they hauled a trailer with it. But even back in those days the shock of paying $100 to fill the tank, once a week!, was just insane. The car, when I was lucky, made it all the way up to 14MPG.

I now have a Prius and a Subaru Forester. It’s fun to watch all the displays on the Prius and try to push the MPG above 54MPG. I drove the Prius to the football game in Lincoln and went just as fast as all the other cars in the traffic jam (even when I-80 isn’t busy the Prius can easily get me into speeding ticket range, plus even its sluggish acceleration is about the same as the Suburban since getting tons of metal moving even with a huge V8 is hardly supercar performance). And then there is Subie – a wonderfully nimble car with great AWD handling some of the worst roads and mud and snow I can throw at it, places I’d never have taken the Suburban. So even the SUV part of gas guzzlers can easily be achieved with a fantastic vehicle for twice the gas mileage.

So, Americans, let’s just figure it out. I recently took a 3000 mile vacation where I actually needed the Subie’s AWD. I averaged around 26MPG. A suburban which couldn’t even have gone where I took the Subie (actually no place I couldn’t have taken the Prius) would have averaged around 12MPG. So 3000/26 = 115 gallons of gas vs 3000/12 = 250. I probably averaged paying about $3.20/gallon, so something like $368. For the Suburban to match that price gas would have to drop to $1.47/gallon, something even the fracking in North Dakota isn’t going to accomplish. But let’s look at it another way, my vacation in the gas guzzler would have cost $800 and now that prices are down a bit, generously saying to $2.80 that would drop to $700 or a savings of $100. Terrific, I’d take it BUT my wonderful Subie did the trip for $432 less. So dumb gas guzzler buyer, you’re now saving $100 for a long vacation whereas I saved $432 – real genius, eh? And you want to race your gas guzzler against my Subie, on interstates, or ordinary roads, or especially on crummy roads – I’ll clean your clock in your tank vs my nimble machine.

So, why, stupid Americans are you buying such dumb vehicles.

And here’s the fun part. The gas price drop will be temporary. And when gas goes up to $4/gallon, tell me exactly how much fun you’ll have filling your tank. Oh, but you’ll just sell the gas guzzler – tell me how much you think anyone will want to pay for it when gas is expensive again. That Suburban I borrowed was in fine shape and was the deluxe model and had less than 30K miles – my mother sold it for $500!

So have fun in your expensive, clunky, sluggish gas guzzler and enjoy when gasoline prices soar again.

So why do Americans over and over get suckered into buying gas guzzlers? Having never seen any authoritative studies on the matter I can only guess, but what I have seen, as a silly part of our national character, esp. tied to our arrogant “exceptionalism” notion, is that we equate size of car and these days even more so blatant overuse of fuel as some expression of macho manhood, as well as ostentatious display of wealth. You really think 2+ tons of vehicle changes you? Fine, then blow your money on a good car, buy a supercar that actually can perform on all the gas it burns, buy an effective backwoods or offroad vehicle (actually good tires on 2WD will out perform your gas guzzling SUV with the tires you probably have on it). Buy a car that works and performs the mission you actually do in life.

I’m not impressed by your Hummer (an Audi i8, maybe). And your idiots who detune your diesels to do some coal rollin – real cool, I guess that makes you a real man and maybe makes you for your tiny shriveled little member.

Come on Americans, we’re supposed to be the people with some common sense – where is it!


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