Reuben Salad


The boy didn’t like it, but my wife did. I’ll be updating the recipe for next time.


It’s fancy potato chips at the bottom, then lettuce, then corned beef, then sauerkraut, then swiss cheese, then thousand island dressing. I may heat the cheese next time so it’s more melty–the residual heat from the meat and kraut didn’t do it–but overall it was pretty good. Not great, but pretty good.

Best in small doses, I think.

Tomorrow is my not-birthday


For new or forgetful folks, the not-birthday concept is pretty straight-forward: my wife and I have the same birthday, which sucks, so I moved mine back a month.

What this means: omelet with oven-roasted potatoes for breakfast, pizza at some point, possibly a bottle of quality beer.

Then, on Monday, I’m starting an unjuice fast. Health-related stuff behind the cut. Continue reading

Willpower is not a virtue


And by “not a virtue” I don’t mean that it’s a vice or it’s something awful. I mean, it’s not a wonderful thing that people have or don’t have.

Okay, so, I’m an NPR-listener. Yeah, I often hear this expert or that being interviewed… so many of them that they sometimes run together. Sometimes I’ll hear something that sticks with me and I have to go back to find it again. Like this interview with David Eagleman.

What Eagleman said, for those who don’t want to click through to the show, is that our brains aren’t this unified thing. We, ourselves, aren’t a unified identity. Different parts of our brain want us to do different things: Lose weight, exercise, sleep in, work hard, order the fries, watch that TV show… We’re full of conflicting impulses.

This is certainly true of me. I have long battled with myself over all sorts of indulgences, and different parts of me fight in different ways. When I get up early to work on my book, I feel a sense of accomplishment. When faced with the opportunity to eat something I shouldn’t, I feel a sense hopeless despair.

And in recent years, it’s been a tossup which part of my brain[1] would win, except for the despair. Hopeless despair has been a trump card in my life; I have a hard time beating it.

However! Lately I have stopped looking at myself as a complete whole. Lately I have tried to recognize that there are several different personalities living inside me, and that my brain plays dirty tricks on my to make me do things I shouldn’t. In essence, I’m accepting the fact that my own brain is often my enemy.

I’ve talked about this before: It can be hard to say no to food when the despair hits. It can be hard to get up early to work when I know I need sleep, too. But for the past few weeks, I have not been using willpower to win these internal battles. It might look like willpower, but it’s not. What I’ve been doing is keeping my goals in the forefront of my mind and treating all impulses that get in the way as an enemy attack. It’s not willpower to refuse to go over to my enemy camp.

It’s been working, too. For me, I mean. I don’t know how well this would work for anyone else.

[1] If you’re thinking of “parts of my brain” in an anatomical sense, you’re being too literal. I’m talking about competing impulses.

Randomness for 6/27


1) If you’ve played Minecraft, this will crack you up. Assuming you have a soul. Non-Minecraft players might also be amused. Video.

2) A picture book you hope you’ll never have to give to a little kid in your life.

3) Nessie is real, the KKK were good guys, apartheid was neutral, and other lessons taught in tax-payer funded “Christian” schoolbooks.

4) What filesharing studies really say.

5) R-rated movies re-imagined as children’s books.

6) I’ve never worn a hoodie, but I’d be tempted by this, no matter how stupid I’d look.

7) Investors sue movie producers for fraud over “One of the Greatest Box Office Flops of All Time”

Randomness for 6/20


1) 25 Ways to Tie a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes. Whether you care about scarves or not, it’s an entertaining video.

2) The Stephen King story universe flow chart.

3) Creepy married actor hits on model during flight. She tweets about it, bringing him more fame than he might have wanted.

4) I guess if you’ve already spent the money on the photos, you might as well do this. Er, #35 is “special.”

5) Starbucks name fail.

6) Political attack ads in Westeros.

7) The ten most ridiculous rules in first ed. D&D. I see that no one will acknowledge the elephant in the room: armor class. via Mike Cole

State of the self, (not actually a weight loss post)


So, you guys know I’ve been working on shedding the pounds, yes? I’ve always been a big guy (When I was a teenager I had a 44″ chest, and it wasn’t muscle or fat–it was all rib cage) so I’ve always tended toward the heavy side of the bell curve. Then I got fat for real and reached, at one point, 304 lbs. Cut for triggery talk of weight loss and gross picture of cholinergic urticaria. Continue reading

Two blog posts in one day??



Actually, I had no plans at all to write in my blog again, but fate intervened. Today was supposed to be a “large goal” day, but instead I hit the small goal only.

To explain: I try to do about a thousand words a day as my small goal, but on days like today, when I have no other commitments during the morning and afternoon, I slip out of the house as early as possible and try to do twice my usual goal. At least. This helps make up for the days when I typically can’t write at all.

However, today I was hit with a really bad histamine reaction. To what, I don’t know, but the itching was really bad and it slowly spread down my arms and then down to my knees.

This happens every once in a while, but we’ve been unable to find the trigger. It wasn’t clothes, it probably wasn’t food, and…

Really, what it seemed related to was sweat. I had started to move my body a bit, and the sweat on my torso started itching. From there it got worse and worse.

At one point I had my wife take a picture with the idea of posting it, but it was… er… too much. I didn’t want to gross anyone out.

My skin has mostly settled down now (thanks, Benadryl!), but it’s past time for me to take another long walk. I’m hoping I can make it home without peeling my own skin off.