Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegan Before Six? Me? Surely You Jest!

I tweeted a joke a few weeks ago about anyone knowing a way to help loose weight that didn't involve exercise, extreme diets, or copious amounts of cocaine.

My friend Nick suggested this diet he was on called VB6, or Vegan Before Six; created by Mark Bittman.  Pretty straight forward and simple.  You eat Vegan before 6pm.  After 6, you're allowed to be carnivorous if you like.  But best if you eat unprocessed stuff, like fruit and vegetables from the farmers market.   Which we do, a lot.

Didn't seem like such a daunting task, as what would I have to cut out or add in to my daily routine?

Breakfast Before:  Normally don't eat anything.  Drink 2-3 cups of coffee.
What I had to change:  Actually eat breakfast.
Breakfast Now:  Publix deli peanut butter (which is just smashed nuts, nothing else) over toasted whole grain bread, with some home made apple jam.  Or oats with almond milk, and a spoonful of my apple jam, that I've taken to call Come Bite the Apple Jam.  In honor of Mother Love Bone.
Also, a multi vitamin.

Mid Morning Snack Before:  More Coffee
What I had to change:  Actually eat something.
Mid Morning Snack Now:  Banana or Raw Almonds.

Lunch Before:  Most times a sandwich and chips at home.  Sometimes the same out somewhere.
What I had to change: Loose the meat.  And the chips.  Deep fried and all.
Lunch Now:  Most times, a sandwich wrap that has avocado, tomato, humus, black beans, and whatever else.  Maybe some pita chips for dipping in more humus.  Sometimes a big salad.

Mid Afternoon Snack Before:  Diet Coke, maybe a snickers bar
What I had to change:  Didn't really need to dump the Diet Coke, but def the snickers.
Mid Afternoon Snack Now:  Apple

Dinner Before:  Some type of meat and two to three
What I had to change:  Not much, just thinking healthier.
Dinner Now:  Mostly vegetables.  Like a lot of them.  Sometimes, no meat at all.  Throwing a bunch of cut up pieces of zucchini, squash, onion and egg plant into a frying pan.  Mixing with whole wheat pasta.

And its working.  I'm having more energy throughout the day.  No more fighting sleep at my desk at 2pm.
My scalp seems to itch less now too.  I've dropped a few pounds since starting as well.  Though, two or so seem to come back and go away.
The big thing I noticed yesterday, is that my back wasn't killing me when I had to help out with a project in the press room.  Actually, no back pain at all, and not a whole lot of pressure on my spine.
(I messed it up some years back, helping my dad move a pool table down stairs on Christmas Eve).

I'm getting to eat food that I don't normally eat, and eat food that I normally do in a whole new way.
Any diet that allows me to still eat my dad's chicken wings on game day is a winning diet to me.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Game Room...completed

I've been kind of moving things in and out of this one room in our house since we first moved in.  The room is an extra bedroom, and was considered day one as what ever I want to do with it.

At one point, it was a lounge area, with couches and foosball table.  But that shit was too crowded.  Then it became a catch-all sort of room.  Then, Kell's work out space.  Then my work out space.

I started buying vinyl records again, and since my big ass late 60s record player/piece of furniture was housed in there, it became the music room.

Then I built a gaming PC, and needed it to be near the router.  So, I decided that I would be gaming in that room.

We got new couches, so the old one's moved in, along with a new chair.  Still wasn't right.

Added a rug, some more posters, a new record player and a sort of coffee table.  Getting there.

Got rid of the gaming chair, moved some tables around, adjusted everything into a den like shape.
Now, its perfect.  I've got a larger lcd screen for my gaming PC, records, record player 5.1 surround sound, plenty of seating, action figures, posters and what not.

Its not a man cave.  Cause women are allowed.

Needs a bar, though.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Finish That Sentence: Link-Up

Found through my wife's blog at


My best friend says... things that get me in some odd predicaments

People call me... not a lot.  Mostly just text.  I hate talking on the phone.

The best part of my day... When we get home and I'm able to move from work clothes to lay about clothes.  My dog and I have a ritual where we "go crazy".  Which means I make her run through the house back and forth. 

I really don't understand... Quantum Physics.  But I'm close.

I get really annoyed... 24 hour news channels.

There's nothing like a... getting something you ordered in the mail.

Lately, I can't get enough... Vinyl Records.  Its become really addicting.

One thing I am NOT is... a gun owner.

I spent too much money on... I never really feel like I spent too much money, usually just the right amount.  Bills aren't late, so I'm good.

I want to learn.... everything.

If I ever met Jake in real life , I would... offer to buy a beer.

I can't stop... blowing ass.  The salads for lunch are starting to get to me.

Never have I ever... Chewing or dipping tobacco.

Reese Witherspoon... is an actress. I've seen her in a movie.  I think she's from Tennessee.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Continuing On With My 2013 Overhaul.

As I blogged before, I've done somethings this year that I've never done before (built my own computer) and quit some things I've been kicking around for a while: Facebook, Cable & Nail Biting.
But I really wanted to do more and change more.

1. Explore new bands that I haven't really listened to before.
    A. On Vinyl
    B. From small or local Record Stores.

I've decided to start experimenting with different bands that I've known about, heard great things about, but never really listened to before.  So, I started with Mudhoney and Sleater-Kinney.  Both of which, I've seen open for Pearl Jam.
So, I bought a couple of albums on vinyl...and they had MP3 download codes with them.  Which is a big plus for me, as I like to keep all my tracks on Google Music to be played anywhere.
I fell in love with both Albums.
So, when we were at Grimey's in Nashville, I bought some more Mudhoney (and I Pearl Jam vinyl I've had my eyes out for.).
I could easily go to Amazon and find all of these, or shop at Best Buy and get them.  But why do that, when I can spend money that will stay closer to a family owned place?
I do shop at InSound, but its a small company, so I don't feel too bad, as they're trying to help Indie bands get their music out there.
The one place I'll always go to is Pegasus Records.  I've shopped there forever.  When I was younger, before MP3s were a thing.  Just pouring through looking for some Hendrix track that I somehow never hear or a variation on one that I didn't have.  Same thing with Pearl Jam imports.

2. Sticking it to the man, helping the smaller brewer.

Kell had told me about this documentary she had watched called Brew Wars, and said that I should as well. Anheuser Busch are really working on putting the screws to the smaller brewers.  Mostly by making the same beer the small brewer is doing, All the while, making sure not to put Anheuser Busch anywhere on the labels or boxes to make them seem as though they're produced by a small company.
Now, I don't drink much in the way of A-B anyways, unless its the occasional Natural Light.  Mostly Miller or Coors.  But, as I found out, they're not actively trying to hurt the little guy, but they're not exactly putting out a helping hand.
So now, I'm doing my best to drink independent beers.  Beers that 3/4 of the profit doesn't go to Super Bowl ads.

That's it for now.  I'll continue to update as 2013 progresses and as I try to myself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why I Left Facebook.

I stopped logging into Facebook just about a month ago, and last week, had to finally deactivate.

Facebook became a chore.

It was no longer fun to log in and see what my friends and family were posting.  It had become a hotbed for idiotic political posts.

At first I had tried filters just to change what people posted, then hiding posts.  Then, just trying to let people know that what they were posting just wasn't true.  It became an exercise in futility.  I was getting angry with people that I spoke very little to in real life.

I really want to like people that I don't associate with all the time, and their Facebook updates was making it impossible.  Facebook had been turned into FOX News but turned up to eleven.  (Sorry Kell). Kind of like how myspace had become some kind of glittery ghetto of Mtv.

Then, the story I read about Facebook making Billions (with a "B") and not having to pay any State or Federal taxes, and even getting refunds up to 500 Million (with a "M").  That was the last straw.  I was infuriated.  So many of us that use their site on a daily, hourly even minute by minute business struggle to pay bills and taxes, and they're beating the system.

So, I decided to quit facebook.  I stopped the same day that I quit cable and decided to quit biting my nails.

I thought that I would deactivate it.  I quickly learned how much of my life across the internet was directly attached to  So, I did the next best thing, and dumped every single thing that I had "liked" that was a business.  Save for a few that were friends' bands or businesses.

But then I realized that people were still commenting on things, messaging me or trying to add me as a friend.
I didn't want to appear rude by not responding, so I decided to just deactivate my account and deal with finding new ways to log in across the web.

I haven't missed it at all.  I keep up with people I need to through texts, email, instagram, tumblr and twitter.

I feel like I have more control over my digital life, as I don't feel as much as a jerk for not adding people I have no clue as to who they are.

I don't think I'll ever be able to fully delete my facebook account, much like I've never been able to delete my myspace account.  Its got history on there, that I'll always be able to look back on.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Need to Get Out of Here

Been daydreaming a lot lately of spring time.  The winter hasn't even been that bad.  I don't know what it is.  I do know that I'm very ready for Kayaking and Camping, some daytime patio drinking as well.

I'm really really wanting to go to the French Quarter and eat & drink my way through.  I love walking around down there during the day time when the weather is nice.  190 Octanes and a great restaurant on every corner.

I've also been thinking about traveling over to the delta for the same purposes.  Eating and drinking.  I really like the concept of just walking around with a drink in hand, with multiple choices for bars and restaurants to pop in and out of.  It gets me all sorts of excited.

Its like when I go on vacation, I couldn't care less about buying a bunch of stuff, but get really happy at the thought of dinners and cold beers and other alcoholic beverages.

I think if the weather is nice this weekend, it may be fun to pull the furniture off my front porch into the yard, sit with a cooler and a book, just enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why 2013 May be a Banner Year

So far with 2013, I'm pretty happy with the way its turning out.  I'm doing things I've never done, and accomplishing tasks that I thought were impossible.

1. Cut cable.  This has been a much easier transition than I ever would have thought.  Currently I'm not missing it at all.  Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and local channels are making it quite easy.

2. Built my own gaming PC.  Something I figured I could do, but never tried.  So far, I'm loving it as both a gaming pc and media center.

3. Quit biting my nails.  This has been harder than quitting smoking, believe it or not.  But I'm making a damn hard effort not to start again.  The hardest times are during movies and car rides.

4. Leaving Facebook.  I got really tired of logging on and seeing dumb ass political post after dumb ass political post.  It was stressing me out just a little.  And I should never let something as dumb as a website get to me.  Then there's the whole tax thing, and the lack of them having to pay.  I haven't been able to quit Facebook completely, due to so many pages across the web having their log ins tied back to my Facebook profile.  But I haven't posted or viewed the timelines in over a week.  I did take off all likes, and disable everything I could.

5. Repaired an HDTV.  This one turned out to be much simpler than I ever thought.  We had one go bad.  I looked into what could be wrong, bought the parts online (spent about 6 dollars), and fixed it.  Saved myself about $200 in repairs.

6. Started recycling.  Another one of those things that's actually been much easier than I would have thought. I called the Florence City Recycling Center and inquired about their recycle bins, and the cost.  They said no cost, and even delivered to the house.  All I have to do is take it to the curb on Thursdays.

Now, I have some upcoming things that I want to do to continue to make 2013 an engaging year.

1. Catch up on my reading.  I need to finish/start the following:
    A. The Pearl Jam book Kell bought for me.
    B. Into the Wild.
    C. The other Bourdain books I haven't gotten to.
    D. The Nikki Sixx book our friends got us and the other one he lent to us.

2. I want to paint the shutters.  I hate the green they are, and I think I gray would look pretty awesome against the faded yellow of our house.

3. Maybe build a headboard for our bed out of old doors.  One of those things I don't know how to go about doing, but I'm sure I'll figure out.

4. Get back to riding my bicycle.  I really did enjoy that in the mornings and afternoons to/from work.  Too bad I bent the rim, flattened the tire and broke one of the pedals on my last ride.

5. Lose weight should be in there somewhere, but I haven't quite figured that one out yet.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

10 or Below Local Food Review - The On The Rocks Burger

A while back I compiled a list of my top ten under, ten dollars favorite things to eat in and around Florence, Alabama.  They were in no particular order, as I love them all almost identically.  But I thought I would start with my good friend's Bar - On The Rocks.

Their burger to me, is hands down the best around.  I love it.  Its a huge slab of burger, cooked just the way you ask for it.  I like mine med - med rare.  And that's the way it comes out.  Everyone orders theirs' differently, but I like mine with grilled onions, pepper jack cheese and bacon.
If you haven't eaten their burger, or haven't tried it this way, I urge you to do so.
I can't help but rush through mine, as ever second that I'm not tasting that burger, its a damn travesty.
If you combine with their fries or the home made potato chips with an ice cold draft beer, you're gonna be in a very happy place.  And starting at $7.00, what's stopping you from going and getting one right now?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I took our cable box to Comcast today to cut our cable.  There's a certain satisfaction in knowing that $100 dollars of my money will not go to them anymore.  Especially when i watch all of five channels they provide.
I'm a local channel - Netflix - Hulu - Amazon Instant Video - Internet streaming household now.
There's a certain empowering thing to it as well.  Being able to pick and choose your entertainment sources instead of what's given to you.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Updating my technology

I had decided to give up console gaming for the most part after I played Skyrim on the laptop my company gave me.  The freedom to download mods and change the game to how I wanted as opposed to the very locked version of what I had previously played on the PS3 made me very happy.  So, I tested the PC Gaming waters on the laptop, playing Guild Wars 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Star Wars the Old Republic.  I felt that if I purchased a gaming pc, that I would love it infinitely more than traditional console gaming that I had known since the NES.
So, this January I went to and ordered my parts.  Which I was pretty nervous about, seeing as though I had never built a PC before.  But it was quite simple.  As soon as I picked out my processor, Newegg instantly listed all parts that were compatible and parts that other people had purchased with that same processor.
I built it, and connected it to the HDTV in what was known as the Record Room (as that's where the record player is stored along with the records).
That Television has crapped out on me, due to capacitors that I can repair.  So, we went and got a new television for the living room, which we bumped up to a 50" LCD, and moved the 42" into what has now been rechristened "The Game Room"
The same weekend we got the new TV, my mom bought all new furniture for their house, and passed down to me their gently used furniture, which amounted to very comfy love seat, sofa, chair and ottoman.  The chair along with our old couch got moved into the Game Room along with my video game chair, and a small table for my mouse and keyboard.  Now it feels welcoming for guests to come in and hang out while looking at videos on the internet, or just listening to records.
Our cable and internet service has been through Comcast forever, but we've talked about reducing our services to save money.  We've discussed this before, but Comcast will give me a special, and reduce our bill to keep our business.  Which is great, but I don't want to have to call every six months to try and get them to reduce our monthly payment.
So, we decided to try the streaming only part of Netflix for a month to see how we would like it.  And we have loved it.  Kell has watched all the back catalog of Supernatural, and I got us hooked on the comedy show The League.  So, we decided to try Hulu, as its a little more up to date with their next day on stuff from Fox and NBC.
I made a spreadsheet of all the shows we watch, which surprisingly isn't that much.  A good bit of our shows seem to be ending this year.  I determined how we can watch the show, is it free, does it have a service?
The suppliers were broken down into Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant video, the show's network website or the direct cable connection.
The direct cable connection is where if you have an HDTV, you can just plug your cable directly to it, have your TV scan for channels.  You will get all the local network channels in HD, like Fox, CW, ABC, NBC, Fox & CBS.
I found that all of our shows were easily accessible through these methods.  The only bad part is not always immediately when they originally air.  Which, we DVR most of our shows anyways and watch them later.   So no big deal.  There are only a few like the Walking Dead that we watch as its airing.
The only ones I were concerned about were college football games.  So, I was pretty excited when I found out that ESPN has "Watch ESPN" as a streaming for all of their broadcasts, that's available to anyone with Comcasts service.  And it all streams in HD.
So, we ran a test this weekend of not using our HDDVR box, just using our other outlets, and we did fine, until the Walking Dead.  But I now know that we will be able to watch it on Monday Nights.  So, we're looking at saving somewhere around 80 dollars a month.
Another thing we discovered is that for 50 dollars, we can buy our own cable modem and not pay Comcast an additional 7 dollars a month for theirs.
Its a little odd getting used to consuming media a completely different way than what we're used to, but if you can get around thinking of going to a different website, instead of a different channel, then you shouldn't have any problem making the switch.
Now, I just have to wait to get a new phone, as I managed to break the screen last night.