Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Note on Comments

Not as if anyone ever comments (or reads, other than family), but I wanted to say something about comments. Early on, I switched over to a Haloscan commenting system. This was done primarily for the trackback features. Well, I find I don't use the trackback. It's a pain to use when posting, and I don't get linked to, so it's no value to me. And I prefer the look of Blogger's comment system anyway. And, Haloscan's last news update having been over a year ago doesn't help confidence much either. So, someday, when I have the spare time, I'll dig up my saved template, and modify things back to using the built-in commenting system. So, you know it's coming, just not exactly when. Note: Normally I'd link to Haloscan's website (link to the right somewhere), and to the post where I switched over in the first place, but it's late, I can barely type, this is my third post tonight, and I need to be in bed 30 minutes ago, so Good Night!

Markl's Thoughts: Shipping Software

I was directed towards an interesting (to me) read the other day, Markl's Thoughts: Shipping Software. I especially like his thoughts on what shipping software means. As software evolves away from "the disks in the shrink wrapped box at (Best Buy/Fry's/Wal-mart)" and more to "just something I don't remember exactly where/how I got", the lines of shipping and delivery are rapidly blurred. As are others, such as what exactly the product you are paying for is. Many Linux distros are based on you paying for support, and access to their central database of software updates. Updates which, like the OS itself, can be freely gotten elsewhere, but which they neatly gather and package for you. You are paying for the convenience of one stop downloading, and integration into their installation tool, and often a little QC testing, or package customizing. Try quantifying a price on the value of that. I've often wondered how businesses will make money with Open Source Software. In my opinion, it is clearly superior to proprietary closed-source offering on many levels, but from a business plan perspective, it has many challenges to be faced. But, even business models and economic theories change over time, just ask Adam Smith!

On Posting Frequencies

Well, when I started, I hoped to post every week minimum. However, as my track record shows, I'm doing good to hit once a month. Explanation: I'm not on my home computer much. Short Version: I suck at time management, and have so much to do when I get home from work (and do so little), that play on the computer is lucky to happen once a month. (I'm actually finding myself completely un-interested in computer projects that 2 years ago I would have pulled an all-nighter just to play with. I'm de-geeking.)I haven't played a computer game in months, and even then I couldn't make an hour of playtime in a sitting without becoming utterly bored. Long Version: Work keeps me swamped from clock-in to clock-out. And I stress out about it, because I always feel I should be getting things done faster then I am, and worry my bosses feel the same way. Home keeps me stressed for a million reasons, and I keep me stressed because I always just want to relax form work when I get home, eat and watch a movie with my wife, and then it's late and time to go to bed to get up late in the morning, still tired. I never do much around home. And a little wouldn't cut it, when I have a daughter who actively undoes things around home! :) So, I'm stressed all the time, even when I shouldn't be. And things I enjoy fall by the wayside, like reading e-mail & blogging, even getting on the computer. Not that long ago, I probably spent over 70% of my waking hours at a computer. A few years before that, and I'd bet over 90% of my waking free-time was spent at one. Now, I use one for work, and get on my home computer sometimes once a week for 70 minutes, if that. Not even enough to keep current with e-mail, much less begin to catch up on news, or anything else. Heck, I don't even answer my cell phone anymore (and it's the only phone I have, no home phone.) So, I'm still here, plodding away, and I'll try to keep writing, but it'll always be a lot less than I want, and more than I can spare time.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Movie Thoughts & I Weigh 321 lbs.

So, yesterday I saw part of Super Size Me. Now, this is a movie that I most likely would not have watched on my own. Documentaries are really not my thing. But, we went to a friend's house, and they were watching it, so I saw about half of it. So, in short, I had a hypochondriac's response. For those who don't know, I'm considerably over-weight, and have been for a long time. So, after seeing part of the 'movie', I had the reaction of, "Hey, maybe that is part of my problem!". No, I'm not going to sue Mc Donald's. Regardless of whether you think they are at fault, simply negligible, or completely responsible, it is still your choice to eat there. What caught my attention specifically was the descriptions of becoming addicted to the food. At one point, he is describing how eating it makes him feel better right away, and one of the doctors (or some professional, I only saw part of it) tells him it sounds like he has become addicted. At another point, a doctor is talking about it, and gives an example using a drug used to detoxify drug overdoses, saying the same drug causes people to lose interest in the food, implying it's more than a hunger satisfaction at play. He also says that the cheese on the burger is like opiates to your body, and when combined with a sugary, caffeinated soda, is a definite recipe for addiction. However, I'd like to see some data to back up some of these claims. I've been addicted to caffeine before, and gone through withdrawals from it. And, if I think about it, I crave a greasy, cheesy hamburger with fries and a coke, far more often than any other type of food, even my favorites. So, I don't think it's a stretch to say I might be addicted. The information from calling the nutritionists was a little more extreme than I personally would have predicted. The vast majority (I don't remember the percentage, watch the movie if you care that much) recommended eating fast food (not just Mc Donald's, but fast food in general) never, or no more than once a month at most. MY wife and I eat fast food very often because it is cheap and fast. We are on a tight budget, but don't always have time to cook, so we choose fast food. Apparently, most nutritionists would tell me that is a huge problem. And, maybe, that is a major thing affecting my health and weight. So, I'm going to try and cut back on fast food and sodas as well. It'll be hard. They still sound good, and I'm not overflowing with willpower. However, they don't ever taste quite as good as I imagine they will beforehand. So, if I can remind myself why I made this decision whenever I start to doubt it, I might make some progress. So, what better way than to make it public? As of today, March 08, 2005 I weigh in at about 321 lbs. on our bathroom scale. Since I'm 6' (about, been even longer since I measured that), according to some sources I should be between 164 lbs. and 188 lbs. Now, I'm not going to be unrealistic about it, and expect to be there within a year. That's around 140 lbs to lose, or another person basically. If I can steadily lose at least 1 - 2 lbs. a month, I'll know I'm at least making some progress. Because, although I don't get weighed often, I do know it wasn't steady, but was still climbing at my last doctor's visit. So, holding steady would be an improvement, and going down, even a tiny bit, every month, will mean progress in the right direction!