Thursday, February 25, 2010

Resurrecting the Experiments

It has been too long since I have done an experiment. So I think it is time that I started on. Since there are only a few days left in this month, I am going to pick one that will get me into a habit for the next few months. I have been wanting to start back on WW - so to help with that I am going to document everything that I eat starting right now. I am chewing a piece of Trident Watermelon Twist sugarless gum (with Xtlitol). One stick is less than 5 cal and no value whatsoever. Seriously - I want to eat better...
so I can feel better
so I can have more energy
so I can play in the yard with my boys and not feel tired or get hurt
so I fit in my clothes better
so I can beat my co-worker in racquet ball
so I can lost some weight
so I can run 6.2 miles on May 1 and May 31
so I can feel good at the beach
so I can keep up with my wife's activities (okay - so it is a little wishful thinking)
so I can do so much more.

Do I think that just eating right will fix the problems in my world - no. But it sure will help. To this end, I need to start by documenting everything I eat and if I can the WW points to help me track how much I should be eating. I am going to do this with a google document. I'll post the link shortly once I have it set up.

Ok - so for the rest of the month. I will post everything that I eat online. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I weighed in today at the wellness center where I work. My weight was 222.2 lbs. I have a co-worker who is working on losing weight as well. We decided to get serious about it together. He weighed in today as well. Tomorrow I want to start working on my fitness goals. First I want to start running again. I signed up for a 10K on May1 and want to be ready for that. So wish me luck and I will try to start writing daily and let you know how things are going.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am a 36 year old man with the desire to be healthy and fit.  I know which ones of my habits are not helping but find I have a hard time sticking to a healthy lifestyle.  I am going to take space here in my 'lab' area to record my progress (or lack thereof) in weight loss and to keep track of what dieting and exercise habits work for me.  I will also try to track both of those as well as I can.  Wish me luck.  Wish me luck.  I am going to take the next few days to start the habit of blogging here.  Starting in September, I am going to make it my experiment, which means I have to do it every day.  See you later.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2009

I am a back after a little hiatus.  I have tried to come back and do some more experiments, but have been distracted.  If you what to know some of what I have been up to, check out

So August is here and it is time for some new tests.  These are personal growth ones that I think will bring me some happiness. For a long time, I have wanted to be able to play the guitar well.  Last year I took lessons and never had any time to practice.  Or I did not make the time.  With the encouragement of lovely wife, I have decided to try again.  To help me practice, I decided to make it a challenge/test.  I am going to practice at least 15 minutes every day for the month.  That's it. I plan to post my progress and to post my schedule for practice.  I am following the online guitar lessons presented by Jusin Sandercore at  If anyone wants to follow along with me. Please do.  I hope to post the practice schedule that I am on here, but you know how good I am about posting. 

The other test, which is going to be a little harder, to spend at least 10minutes doing something for my wife. That something cannot be chore that simply benefits her.  In other word, I cannot just do some laundry and say that I have done something for her.  On Friday night - I think it was after midnight, so I believe that counts as the 1st, I drew her a bath.  Later that day I made some small token gifts for the cast of a play she was in.  Today, the 2nd, I went with her to meet her parents for lunch to celebrate her sisters birthday and then I went again for dinner with her other parents and sister.  She knew that I had a ton of work, but I think that I could hear something in her voice that wanted me to go to both lunch and dinner (I had planned to only go to dinner).  So I did not think twice, and maybe she really did not care, but I changed my plans and went with her. Not a big thing, but it counts in my book. 

Gotta go and get some rest.  later-.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

End of April/ Start of May

Last month was not a huge success.  I totally gave up on staying outside for an hour a day.  It is harder than it sounds.  I also did a crappy job of documenting my spending.  I did, however, try really hard to not help where help was not asked.  I started to notice that I have a tendency to offer up advice or assistance even when not prompted.  It made me think about why I do this and if it is conscious or sub-conscious.  It turns out that it is nearly completely subconscious.  I truly just want to help people out by sharing what I know or think or by doing something.  Unfortunately the part of my brain that tell me to wait until you actually ask for help does not seem to be functioning.  So for most of April, I was trying to only comment or assist on something when someone would ask.  Most of the time that someone was my wife.  I know I am helpful=hardest on her most days.  I guess I always think I am trying to make things better.  Whatever.  I now realize that not caring as much and not try to make things or people better is so much less stressful.  Now, I still do it try to help, but now I try to not care as much about not helping if people do not ask for it.  One byproduct  is that I used to feel bad if I could not help someone who needed it, and now I really do not feel anything.  Cold, perhaps, but it seems to be what most people prefer today.  This may not make sense to most people if you do not already know me...but not thinking about others as much is so much easier.  I feel like Peter in Office Space, "I just don't care."  Well that is not completely true - I still do care and it adds some stress at times.  But I am trying to care less overall and learning that I do not have to share every thought with those around me. I know who my friends are who I can have that exchange with - the ones I can still say anything to at any time.  And they know who they are.  That is enough for me. 
It's late - let me post a new experiment before I fall asleep.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Month, New Expieriment

Ok - I know that I need to blog about my month off from drinking, but I do not want to do that now.  Maybe after I finish my neatly poured drink in front of me.  I will at least summarize.  I did it.  I did not have one drink all month.  It was hardest after about the first 7 days or so.  I think that what made it the hardest is that so many social interactions I have involve people partaking in a few beverages. Anyway, more on that later.

It is April now and I have started a new experiment. Actually, I have started 3.  The first (level 1) experiment calls for me to stay outdoors for one hour every day this month.  All I have to do is be out of any building.  I am still working on the gray areas, like what if I was in my garage and the door was open?  Or what if I was in my car and the windows were down?  I am still working out the bugs.  But the main constraint is that that 1 hour has to be continuous.  In other words, I have to stay outside for one hour straight.  If I go in, the clock resets. 

Yesterday I had a planning meeting that was held at a local restaurant.  I was leading the meeting so I got there 30 minutes early and was able to sit outside on the patio.  As people started to show up for the meeting we stayed out on the patio.  I made a point to go to el bano before I sat down.  Anyway - we eventually moved to a bigger table inside, but it was well after 1 hour.  So the first day worked out ok.  Today is a little different since the weather today was not great.  I worked all day and then it started to storm towards the end of the day an into the night.  So I was inside taking care of my boys most of the night.  My wife came home at 8:30 and helped put the boys to bed.  At 9:15pm I walked out of the house and sat on my front porch.  Yes, I in within wireless internet range, but I am still outside.  I will sit here for at least an hour and take care of things i need to in cyberland.  It is nice out now.  Little cool, and there is a breeze, but the rain has stopped.  I can hear a plane flying overhead.  We live about 10 miles or so from the airport.  I can hear strong gusts of wind as it passed through the nearby trees.  The trees are just starting to get their new leaves, so there is some resistance that make the sound louder.  The gusts seem to pulse and last for several seconds at a time.  Reminds me of a scene from the John Travolta movie, Phenomena where he is talking about Aspens or something like that.

I have 2 other less important experiments that I am testing out.  First I am going to record every penny I spend personally all month long.  I have become a huge fan of Google Docs so I simply started a spread sheet there so I can access it from work, home, phone, anywhere.  If only I could set it up to receive text messages, that would be great. I thought about twittering my amounts and where I was, but I am too lazy.  Maybe if I have a QWERTY keyboard on my phone.  Sidetrack: Remember what it felt like to go from a rotary phone to a tone dialed phone.  I wonder if it feels the same to for from the regular ABC=2, DEF=3 phone to a full keyboard on a mobile phone for texting.

The final experiment is not a easy to document, it is more of a way of living.  In a kind and loving way, I have been advised to "lighten up" and not try to always have a solution for everything that people bring up to me.  Even things that do not need a solution - as a man, I have been trained to solve problems and that  will make people happy.  As a scientist, I have been trained to never stop asking questions.  Those traits spill over into places where they do not necessarily make the situation better.  Anyway, so my final task is to accept as many ideas as I can from everyone I run into in their initial state.  Do not offer advice or opinion unless I am specifically asked to do so.  I may even require that they ask twice so I am clear.  So for example, if someone from work suggest going to get Thai food for lunch and I do not care for it that day, I will either go anyway, or not go.  I will not suggest that we go somewhere else.   If my wife suggests that we go on a cruise, and I wanted to go skiing...a cruise it is.  Now, I am free to make whatever decision I want to when I am on my own, I just will not offer any "suggestion" or "fixes" to others if that is not what they specifically asked for.  Don't ask what started this test off - let's just say that it needed to be done.  I will not apply this rule at work, since I am supposed to be somewhat critical and seek improvements.  This is what leads to new ideas and better products in the end for our group.

So for the month of April...
1) Stay outside for one continuous hour every day
2) record every penny you spend
3) No giving of unsolicited advice and go with the first suggestion offered by others.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Experiment Idea

With the April 2 weeks away, I thought it would be useful to come up with some ideas for a new monthly experiments  Here are some that are open for conversations:

1) Go Green.  Pick 5 Earth friendly 'Green' habits and stick with them. For example, ride your bike to work, no air condition, cooking on the grill ( is this really better then using the stove?),  I'll need some help with this one.

2) Buy local.  Only shop at locally opened stores for everything I buy.  No chains stores or restaurants.  What about if I am out of town, can I buy locally then?  what if I am travelling and with other people and I do not have a car?  I will have to do this during a month when I know I am going to be home.

3) No eating out. All meals will be at home or someones house or I can make it at home and take it where I need to go.  What about prepared meals from the grocery store?  Is that eating out?

4) Spend 1 continuous hour outside every day.  Day or night, you just cannot go inside for any reason for an hour, if I do, the clock starts over. 

5) Bike 150 miles in a month.  I am starting to ride my bike more this spring.  If I rode every day for 5 miles, that would be about 150 miles for the month.

6) Any more?? Please comment.