Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life Happens

This 2nd and final "Where Have You Been" posts. It's about the "normal" things that have been going on that have kept me from blogging on a regular basis. It also includes the things I should have been doing but haven't.

Throughout October things have gotten very busy at my job. The volume of calls has increased. (the amount of calls not the loudness). Since early in the month there has been a consistent queue. What that means is there are always calls waiting to be answered. Our queue has been as high as 125 at times. With just a week to go until the end of the month and the start of the Christmas gift buying season it only promises to get busier.

This means my job has become more demanding. Answering call after call almost non-stop for 8 hours is a lot more stressful and mentally draining than when you have a minute or two in between. Also this increase in business means that there are no longer any opportunities to leave early. This is a good thing because it means full pay checks. It also means having to do things in town, such as shopping or running errands, after work. That means less time at home at night to relax or work on projects or take care of "home stuff".

Another thing that's taken the place of doing things at home at night is my bowing league. Monday night has been bowling league night since the end of August and will be so until April. Now don't get me wrong I really enjoy bowling and spending time with James. But often on Mondays after work I stay in town and don't get home until after 9PM. By the time I relax and spend some time with Paula the day's over with.

Both of those are not things I can change. I am committed to both unconditionally. I have to work and I have a promise to James to be his bowling partner. But here are some habits I've gotten back into that only I can change.

As a result of the "break" I took from eating right while I was at Disney World I am trapped in my bad eating habits. It's been nearly 2 months and I'm still on "my Disney Diet break." I will confess right here. I am back up into the 230's with my weight and can't seem to stop eating sweets and carbs. I have increased my calorie intake drastically. I can't get away from it.

I'm back into the cycle of binging with things that are not good for me with the vow that it's the last time and the promise of "starting over" the next day. But the next day it doesn't happen. I've gone back to being the overeater I was before my surgery. The physical side effects of the return to bad habits are a lot more drastic but nevertheless I still do them.

The increased intake of carbs has led to higher blood sugar levels and less energy. I "dump" almost every day and that makes me exhausted. Because of that I don't have the drive or energy to walk or do other things that keep me active.

Also I believe that higher blood sugar levels makes me more depressed and keeps me from sleeping right. That effects my attitude toward everything, the desire to exercise and ability to fight against the temptation to overeat. It's a vicious cycle and I have to get out of it. I have to get back to eating and behaving like someone who has had gastric by pass. It's vital to my health, the quality of my life and more.

In addition the start of the new fall TV season and baseball playoffs have kept me on the couch. There are new episodes of my favorite shows that I like to watch with my wife. Also I have to watch all the Yankees games as well. As of this post the baseball part of my TV problem is over (See my post about the Yankees). Now I just have to chose not to sit and watch the DVR until after I've walked the dogs.

The final reason I've not been blogging lately is something I've not had to deal with in quite a while. In the middle of the month I caught an early Autumn cold. It started with losing my voice and a scratchy throat (like all my colds do) and then turned into congestion, a dry cough, and a headache and a fever. I ended up going to the doctor and getting some medicine. I felt so awful I stayed home from work for 2 days. I almost never do that. As of this post, I'm taking antibiotics and a daily Claritin tablet. I'm starting to feel better.

So there you have some of the everyday life happenings and habits that, in addition to the projects and other things I've listed in previous posts, have kept me from blogging. I know this has pretty much been a self-indulgent series of posts and probably very boring for you. I'm amazed that you've even read this far. But I promise this is the last one. I will go on from here back to my "normal" pattern of posting. So keep coming back and reading if you want to know what's going on in my life. It is my prayer that you found something useful in all my babble. God Bless.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'll Have To Wait For #28

For all intents and purposes the baseball season ended for me last night. The New York Yankees lost the American League Championship Series to the Texas Rangers.

The Yankees played like baseball zombies in their final 8 weeks of the season. During the regular season they couldn't win the games they needed to win so they could capture the AL East Division title. They limped into the playoffs with their hitters in slumps and their starting pitcher's abilities questionable at best.

Still with the start of the playoffs came a chance for them to "get hot" and win their way through to their 28th World Championship. They had as good a chance as any of the other 7 playoff teams. Hey, they probably had a little more of a chance because of their experience. But it didn't happen.

They beat the Minnesota Twins on a psychological basis. The Twins were psyched out by the Yankees. They played worse than New York in the division series; which was nearly impossible but the Twins did it.

So the Yankees, as a team, went on to stink up the baseball world with their lackluster performance in American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers. When they lost game 6 and the series convincingly last night in Texas for me the baseball season ended.

The Yankees won't win their 28th championship. As a fan I'm very sad about that. You know from reading this blog how much I love baseball. The Yankees are my team and I get really disappointed, angry and then depressed when they don't win it all. It happens every October. I'm either very happy (like last year) or very depressed. What can I say? I'm a fan. That's short for "fanatic". I'm a Yankee fanatic.

But as the days go on I'll, for the most part, ignore the World Series because my team isn't in it. I probably won't totally ignore it but I'll only pay a small amount of attention to it. Then I'll wait for the exciting activity of the off season to begin and watch with interest the development and changes that occur on both the Yankees and all of major league baseball.

After the holidays, in early January, I'll start becoming anxious to see baseball again and begin to countdown the days until opening day. I'm already excited about the prospect of getting to go see the Yankees play the Reds in Cincinnati in June of next year.

Still for the next few days I'll lament the fact that the Yankees "let me down" this year. I mean as an organization they all but "guarantee" their fans a World Series win each year. They set the mark themselves and consider anything less a failure. As a fan so do I.

But there is one good thing about the Yankees being knocked out of the playoffs. A silver lining to the black cloud of baseball failure, if you will. The Yankees All-Star Mickey Mouse statue I have from this year's All-Star game is still relevant. It still has significance at least for another year. This is good because I've had it less than a month and it would be a sad thing (relatively speaking) if after only having it for such a short time it was "dated".

What I mean by that is the Yankees after being knocked out of the playoffs will still only (LOL "only") have 27 world championships. This fact is commemorated on the statue. Look at the picture of it I posted with October 21st's post. On Mickey's right shoe is a "27 world championships" logo. If they had won it all this year, it would be 28, and the logo would be obsolete. So now I'll have another year to enjoy a relevant Mickey Mouse Yankees statue. Of course I'll have to wait to see championship #28...but only until next year.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Projects

The 2nd "Where Have You Been" post is going to focus on what I've been doing instead of posting. The answers will include both planned and unplanned things. I may have mentioned them before so I apologize if I'm repeating myself. There projects are connected to my personal interests and hobbies. I'll admit that they really don't benefit anyone but me, for the most part. But they do help me exercise my obsessive compulsive personality disorder in a positive way.Here are some of the project I've been up to.

Christmas Music Upload
Earlier this year I imported most of my music collection onto I-Tunes and then my Ipod. With the holiday season coming up it's time to complete the digital uploading process with the importing of all my Christmas music to I-Tunes as well. This means processing over 120 CDs, editing and organizing their titles (so they are separated from the rest of my music on I-Tunes) and cataloging the titles on a spreadsheet for future playlists or Rewind recordings. As of the writing of this post I'm about 50 CDs from completing the task. I work on it a little each day.

Rewind Recording
Major league baseball may be in it's playoff season but I'm still in mid season form when it comes to recording my return Rewind show. Yes I'm adding to the "programs" I spent most of last converting. I've written a script based on all things baseball in my music and comedy collection. I'm in the midst of recording it using the sound board at church. I'm making this show digital using songs from my I-Pod. I will also be editing, organizing and uploading the finished "Talkin Baseball" Rewind show onto I-Tunes. I'm about halfway finished at this juncture. I'll let you know when I'm finished and send copies to those of you who have asked for it.

Blog Post Printout
This blog reached a milestone a couple of day ago: 400 Posts. If you are reading this you've probably accessed it through the website address or have had it delivered to your email. For most of it's existence this blog has only been in electronic form. A few months ago I began to printout all my posts and put them in a 3-ringed binder by year. This is for people who may be interested in catching up on my blog but don't want to sit in front a computer and read 400+ posts. Of course I don't have any idea who that might be with the exception of my wife or a few of my family members. But nevertheless I'm printing them out. I try to print 5 each day. At this point I'm 93% done. To me it's an important project and doing just 5 each day is worth the few minutes it takes to complete.

Picture editing
With all the wonderful travel and experiences I've had this year taking pictures and videos has been one of the ways I've tried to preserve the memories. As of this posting I've taken over 2500 pictures so far this year. I have to edit, rename and organize all of them. This is going to take some time. But like all the other projects its a task that will be rewarding in the long run. By the way nearly 40% of the 2500 pictures I mentioned were taken on our Disney World trip. The final action in my picture editing process will be choosing the top 50 pictures of the year. Something that's going to be rather difficult to do given all the great memories preserved in all my pictures. Well I guess I'd better get busy.

Disney Trip Report
This last project I'm mentioning started out as a top priority but has settled back into one that's going to be "long term". I'm working on what's commonly called by a "trip report" about my Disney World Trip. I have already posted the first installment. Now I've decided to skip the posts and just work on writing it up to be used in my archive book about my2nd trip to Disney World.

I write this report mostly during my spare time at work. I'm writing it by hand on notebook paper. I have a special folder that I carry with me to and from my job each day. I am currently working or my recollections of our day at the Magic Kingdom; by far the best day of the vacation.

Anyway once I finish with the trip report I have to type it into the computer, edit it, do some research to enhance it and then add pictures. This will make up my 2nd Disney book. I anticipating this process to take about the next 6-8 months. It will help me prolong the memory of this great vacation as well as keep my creative skills sharp.

So there you have the projects I've been working on in October. Those are only part of the answer to where I've been this month. They are things I've decided to do and have made as my goals to accomplish. In an upcoming post I'll let you in on the other elements of my everyday life that just part of ....well, everyday life. I know you're on the edge of your seat waiting for that one. Til Next Time....God Bless.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where Have I Been?

Today begins a series of "catch up" posts to bring my readers, friends, and family up to date on what's been happening in my life the last several weeks that I haven't been posting. I'm not sure how many of these posts there will be but I'll get y'all up to speed as quickly as I can.

I guess the first thing I should start with is where I left off...

Disney Saturation: For nearly 4 months now, ever since I got back from the I-Fest ventriloquist weekend in July, my life has been all about my trip to Disney World. Planning my birthday trip became my prime focus. It engulfed me. It was my passion. Some might say "obsession". I was preoccupied with planning and organizing the trip so it would be the best it could be. That was accomplished. It was a great trip.

But as I wrote the last time I posted with the Disney World trip in the rear view mirror of my life it's time to move forward. This has not been as easy as it sounds. As a matter of fact focusing on Disney and breaking some of the bad habits I have gotten into as a result of our trip has been and continues to be a major battle in my life. More on that in a future post.

Ever since I got back from Disney I've been in what I call a "Disney World after effect". It's just like the day after you have a great dream you can fully remember. It stays with you all day. I've been reliving the trip over and over as I try to write down all the memories for my 2nd Disney World Archives book. I've also started planning when our next trip is going to be and thinking about the details. I've even started saving money for it.

In addition I find myself looking around on places like Ebay for souvenirs that I regret not buying while I was actually in "The World". A couple of them I've gotten are a refrigerator magnet with the year "2010" on it and a Mickey Mouse All Star Baseball figure in the uniform of the New York Yankees. (pictured above)

I've also been drinking my soft drinks in a clear glass cup so I can use the plastic Mickey Mouse ice cubes I brought home with me. They glow and change color just like the ones you get in your drinks at the restaurants in Disney World. I continue to listen to my weekly pod casts about Disney World and have even added a couple. I've downloaded the next 2 audio books in the "Kingdom Keepers" series by Ridley Pearson to listen to as well. The books are about some teenagers who fight evil spirits trying to take over the magical world of The Magic Kingdom.

I purchased pictures from our trip on Disney's passporter website, had them reprinted, and sent them to my family members. I've been showing everyone a couple of pictures of Paula and me in front of Cinderella's castle (one from 2004 and one from this recent trip) to illustrate our weight loss. I am so thrilled that Disney World is the place where we were able to make this comparison.

But as the days of October have gone on I've found myself less enthusiastic about Disney World. I know that it's going to be over 2 years before we go again (the plan is for January 2013) so my interest is kind of fading into the background. I couldn't explain this because, like I said, for over 4 months it's been all about Disney.

But I read an article in one of the Disney Newsletters I get through email that may explain it. It's by Mike Scopa, one of the podcasters I listen to on the WDW Today podcast each week. He calls it the Disney Saturation point. It's where you've had so much Disney input in your life through experience at the parks or other means such as media or doing research that you get burned out on it. I think I've reached that point. I'll have more about this in a future post.

Right now I want to make my first point of "Where Have I Been?" series to be that I've continued to be caught up in the Disney experience but that is changing very quickly in my life. More about what else is going on in my life in the next post.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My 400th Post

With only 12 days left in October it's highly unusual that this is my first post of the month and my first since September 28th. I had planned on posting about what I've been up to all month and why I haven't written in 3 weeks. I'll to that in the next couple of posts but this post warrants a big announcement.

This is my 400th post. That's right I've posted 400 times. Where has the time gone? It's amazing all the life events that I've recorded here since April 2008. Thank you for reading and all your support. Keep reading Post 500 is on the horizon.