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I saw the doctor. I am, except for cholesterol, healthier than your average horse. I have no trace (so far; we do need to give it another decade to develop) of the diabetes my brother has and my father had. My BP is 116/62, which impresses everybody who looks at my weight and age; my heart rate (after a Diet Coke) was 76 bpm; my liver whatever-test whose 'normal' range goes from zero up to 4 is point-4, i.e. 10% of the normal baditude; all the signs for prostate etc. are perfectly normal.

But my cholesterol sucks. As my dad's did... and Dad had a heart attack at 53 and died of a stroke at 68. 53, as in thirteen years from now. As in the year Joshua enters college.

Diet does only a little, though losing weight will help (I'm 5'8" and just over 200 lbs). Exercise does somewhat more. Will do all three, as the doc says in no uncertain terms I must. But the doctor is also putting me on a low dose of a drug that could snarl my liver.

My mom still smokes and isn't in great health, but at 76 still lives on her own and manages to get around. My dad I wrote about above; he also smoked until he was about 40. One grandfather smoked and died in his fifties; the other three grandparents all lived into their 90s. (A bit overhopeful, perhaps, as Papa was thin as a rail and ate virtually nothing but fish he caught, berries Nana picked, and vegetables they overcooked. Still. Evidence suggests these genes won't kill me young if I don't let them.)

The context, to me, seems to be that properly managing my cholesterol, i.e. weight/diet/exercise/medication, could well make a difference of not just years but decades, given that there's absolutely nothing else on the horizon.

He says the low starting dose probably won't be enough and in six months he's likely to up the dosage.

That all depends on whether it's possible to manage with weight loss and diet and exercise and weight loss. We shall see.

Because seeing Joshua go to college is one valid goal. But seeing his children go to college is another perfectly valid goal. I'd like to.
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I've done more journaling recently than I'd done for a while. Maybe because, with the end of the school year coming, it's a sense of transition, and I feel like documenting it; or maybe it's something else, I dunno.

Weight has satisfactorily dropped 6 pounds in the 6 weeks since the first of May -- which is excellent, and leaves only 34 to go. But it's starting to get serious: much of that 6 pounds dropped simply from when I was sick for a few days, and I managed to not gain it back in the intervening time. The moving average curve is now kissing the required-loss line, and I need to make sure I stay in the green. I also haven't been biking the proper five days out of the week, and it's slowing down and reducing my enjoyment of ST:TOS tremendously.

Upsilon really, really needs a better name. (Suggestions?) But now you can go from the countryside (big map) to a small-scale random 'wilderness' map, which has a down-staircase, to the first level of the goblin caves. I think this is all the styles of connectivity I need for the basic game structure, which means it's only a matter of adding a bunch of lines to switch statements (I know, I know, they should be object hierarchies, but they're simple enough that it's not worth constructing them as such yet) and you'll be able to wander around in all, um, 15 dungeons. (Well, or so. The game should have *some* secrets that people discover in play.) Time for the 100 Days to happen, which I only announced um six months ago. Damn I'm slow sometimes.

Character definition, I think, comes as a consequence of world complexity. The only reason to have a given player stat is when it impacts the world in some way. So when I add -- for example -- the ability to do rough identification of items, the perception stat (or whatever I use for it) and the various skills associated (alchemy?) become relevant, and are added, and there's no reason to add them until then.

I need to take a break from reading blogs. It figuratively raises my blood pressure (makes me cranky, anyway) without actually helping me learn anything. The fact that, for example, most people I talk to don't know about the Downing Street Memo, yet I do, does not really help my existence.

Some puzzles just aren't fair, at least to nine-year-olds. 'These colours should remind you of a fictional hero': the pattern was two rows of three colored circles: the lefthand column is two red circles, the middle column is two orange circles, the righthand column is a blue circle on the top and a yellow circle on the bottom. The critical detail (for me) required to solve this puzzle is in the specific way the challenge is worded. And in my ignorance I would have not thought 'fictional', but I suppose I don't know.

More later. I think I might try to journal the champions adventure before last, because they actually won something. And maybe give a synopsis of some untied threads from previous adventures (the source of the cursed guns, for example, or the crashed interdimensional alien ship).

Sunday log

Jan. 2nd, 2005 03:48 pm
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2004 was a disaster. Let's make 2005 better.

Another week of exercise (7 of 7 days). 18.5 laps in 18 minutes; I can feel a second wind kick in a bit before the end, but I'm not interested in pushing to its limit (leg muscles would be unlikely to forgive this and do it two days in a row). Almost to the end of episode 5 of From The Earth To The Moon.

Diet counting starts tomorrow. I will not be overweight or sedentary when I'm forty. I have sixteen months.

Upsilon slogs along. Equipment inventory close to being done -- I'm basically cloning Angband's 'E' list, plus belts, and slots for quiver and digging implement. (Since the game has variable-time commands, it can just apply a penalty if you are digging in the wall and suddenly find yourself in melee. Some display on whether you're 'ready' is probably important for later, because if you attack when not 'ready', a clever monster might dodge out of the way and cause you to step forward instead. This will tie into using 'unbalanced' weapons like axes and polearms -- your first swing can come quickly, but after each swing you're unbalanced if you don't take a step before your next swing.) I do intend that two-handed weapons make it impossible to use a shield.

I feel the urge to give in to the Dark Side and just read in Angband's monster list from its source text file, and then start modifying from there. Dunno yet if that's what I'll do. I doubt I'll do the same with items, though, partly because I've always considered the number of mundane items available in Angband to be pointlessly large. The variety of items in Upsilon will have a lot more to do with material than shape -- I won't have 60 different weapons, I'll have 12 different weapons made of 5 different metals.

Marith made a good point about the icon shapes staying similar to what's gone before. I think she's wrong about the universality of some of them, though. And I wonder how many of my friends will be unable to play the game if I use the PC's 8-bit ASCII character set like I intend to (musical notes, card suits, Greek letters, vowels with accents). Ah well, someone else will be charged with porting it.

I've also been spending time collecting usenet posts of mine -- I'm up to mid-2003, and compiling a top ten list, with which I will do something someday maybe.
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Began second week of exercise program. 17 minutes to go 4 miles on stationary bike, watching From The Earth To The Moon. Heart rate nicely goes to 160 within a minute of starting and stays there throughout; this is claimed to be aerobic. Goal is to increase this to 20-25 minutes.

- Flags report their status.
- Confusion implemented for movement: when confused, 2/3 of the time movement is random.
- Simple space-oriented targeting implemented. Zapping a wand calls the targeting function (but doesn't yet cause a zap effect of any sort).
- Next: start filling in wand effects as well as potion effects.

(yes, there will be stuff to say about family Xmas, probably by Sherilyn, maybe me too).
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So my ears are almost all better. Unfortunately I've acquired the same bug Katie and Josh have (and Sherilyn's probably getting) -- 101.4 fever, nausea, loss of appetite. Fortunately the kids are almost over it, so let's hope in a day or two I'll be better too.

Read to Josh tonight -- or rather, he read to me, as he insisted on giving me his version of each page before I was permitted to read it. "Nah bah, nah fah, nah how, nah mou, da ba deh ANYWHAH!" "Day oo day oo Sah Ah Aahm!"
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So the War Between The Ears has reached another cease-fire, after violence erupted again last Friday. They're tentatively settling on some sort of religious reformation that involves agreeing on the general direction of Up, which seems to be what all the headache-inducing theology was about. So long as I don't provoke them by moving my head quickly -- especially not up and down, which evidently offends one ear or the other's still-brittle dogma -- things remain calm. And I can put the lid on the fighting by putting myself horizontal, rendering all their existentialism moot. But all it takes is a loss of vigilance (i.e. fatigue) and fighting breaks out again.

I'm hoping it progresses to an armistice in the next few days, and that they get the treaty signed soon. Religious wars taking place in your ears are no fun.

I'm reminded of the aphorism: "Do not put to sea with two timepieces; take one or three." It's all very well to have duplicate systems -- but if the malfunction of either one incapacitates you, you're not ahead of the game...
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I think I have what Katie had last week. At least I assume so... on Wednesday afternoon I suddenly got an attack of the dizzies. It stayed on for a couple hours and started being accompanied by some nausea and cold sweats, so I called it an early evening and went to sleep for twelve hours at the motel.

Woke and still felt iffy -- got to the office and felt worse after about two hours there, so I made my apologies and drove home, with some difficulty. Got home, collapsed into bed, and have been there more or less since.

Had Katie not had similar symptoms a week ago this would probably be spookier -- I've had flulike symptoms before but never have they just been primarily dizziness. The rest of me feels almost fine, in fact I feel very close to normal as long as I'm lying down and not looking at anything. But my appetite is very low and my stomach does occasionally knot. When I get up and walk around I break out in cold sweat after a few minutes.

I'm also noticing that my dimorphic vision is really hard on my head today -- I don't want the bother of taking my contact lens in and out while I'm sick, so I'm just walking around with one eye useless at distances further than about a foot. Normally when I do this I just ignore it and can do things like read a computer screen by only paying attention to one eye's input. But not now -- I have to type while keeping my left eye closed.

But Katie's been very reassuring. I quizzed her yesterday about her bout with this, and she confirmed she'd been dizzy too -- and in fact this explains why she wanted to spend the whole time lying down, to the point of fighting me when I tried to get her to sit up (to drink water, for example), not even wanting to get up to be cuddled, and whining a lot at intervals. She acted pretty much just like I feel.

And tonight Katie made me a couple get-well cards. "I hope you feyul good", said one. She drew herself and her mom and dad on each card -- three stick figures, one with long hair that curls at the end, one with long straight hair, and one with just a pathetic little scriff of hair on the top. :)

Of course, the ominous part of this is that Katie's sickness lasted six days, with most of the fever and vomiting in the latter half. I've had it now for just about exactly sixty hours, and since the dizziness is abating a bit (and fever hasn't shown up yet) I'd sure like to think I was over the worst of it...

But the cards helped. Anything that releases endorphins, in fact, appears to help out a lot. I plan on being in a good mood tomorrow. (Poor George, though.)
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Well, Josh may be 2300 miles away today, but in spirit he's right here -- I can tell because of the potent microorganisms he seems to have left me with.

Robert and Katie got some new Legos today, and are happily playing with them. I'm being a sick lump and sitting in front of the computer.
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Okay, so Disneyland -- and illnesses and varied distractions and my own flakiness -- stopped the ground war at the 185th parallel. But ground gained (lost?) was held. Time for a second offensive. Five weeks, five pounds, and sometime during the first week of June I'll weigh 180.


Mar. 12th, 2003 04:38 pm
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Ten pounds. Ten weeks. Next update during the week of April 14.

195 -> 190

Feb. 4th, 2003 10:25 pm
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Five weeks, five pounds, as of today.
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190.5, 191 Saturday and Sunday, making them legal days; 191 again Monday (target 190).
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Yesterday and today: both 192.0.
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Weight: 190.5 again, even after a brownie with ice cream last night. (Light dinner first, though.)
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Weight: 190.5.

Spent a lot of the day in meetings. It's a little eerie; I'm a Team Lead (tm) which means I actually call meetings and set agendas, including meetings at which my boss and other managers attend. I ask a bunch of questions and write down answers and later on I do something about them. No one ever seems to figure out that I'm just faking being a grown-up and that all this is just pretend.

It sounds like we're going to move this week, for real; at the least I got stink-eye for asking whether they've scheduled a time for delaying the move another week yet.

I'm really among geeks. I'm so proud of all my cow orkers. Four of us were arguing over 9-11 stuff and what the typical muslim-on-the-street feels in places like Indonesia (because we're all so well-informed about it) and the boss peered out of his office. "Are you discussing politics?" (he can hear quite well, so it's not like he didn't know the answer.) Four voices chorus "Nope." "Well, okay... are you discussing religion?" Four "Nope" answers again. "Well, good, because those things cause arguments, and I don't want any arguments." Instantly we fall to arguing about whether we can argue about other things than religion or politics.
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Boring weight entry -- yesterday was 191.5, today is 191.0 -- goal this week is 191.0, making today a balance day.


Nov. 3rd, 2001 03:25 pm
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Weight this morning: 190. Getting the wiggles out of the curve makes the first few lbs easy (and meaningless).

Went to Monsters, Inc. with Bobby. It started with three fun trailers -- the final Harry Potter trailer, the FotR trailer, and the Attack of the Clones teaser... I'm dumbfounded by FotR; I thought trailers were only supposed to be in front of movies within one MPAA rating step, but MI is G and FotR is PG13... it was followed by a hilarious CGI short about birds on a telephone wire.

Then the movie itself. After the first twenty minutes (when he kept my arm pulled tightly around his shoulders, with a death grip on my thumb) he loosened up to start munching popcorn. We both had fun, though he never relaxed enough to laugh at anything -- he says he liked it, however, and we talked about the events and characters for the drive home. (No spoilers -- but what a wonderful movie! It has some tribute and inside joke moments that are to die for. And I'm certain I missed many, since some of the ones I did see were so fleeting.)
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OK, time to start logging this. If Flit's making food entries :) I'll make weight entries.

Weight: 192.5. Target for the remainder of the week: 192

We'll just be dropping that number, then. Earlier this year, the diet went for five successful months and I lost over twenty pounds. And in the four months since then I've been gaining it back almost as fast as I lost it. This is going to stop.

The idea behind outcome-based dieting has always been 'follow any diet plan you like, just follow it sincerely'. I think I have a plan now. The most important basis for diet outcome, for me, seems to be what I eat for dinner and what I snack on after dinner -- the proper answers for a diet appear to be "light, mostly vegetarian" and "water".

So here's the plan. On heavy days I'll be eating a normal breakfast (either granola bars or cheerios), bringing fruit to work and avoiding all work-supplied snacks, eating "sensibly" for lunch, and telling Sherilyn I'll be restricting myself to Slim-Fast and (if hunger makes it necessary) salad or fruit for dinner. On balance days I'll eat normally but still refrain from after-dinner snacks. Light days are when a reasonable amount of candy and other fun foods are permitted.


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