Sunday, May 31, 2015


Yesterday, Saturday, May 30th, the city of Columbus (OHIO) welcomed THE ROLLING STONES.  The Rolling Stones played in front of approximately 60,000 fans at the Ohio Stadium on the Ohio State Campus.  I was already in Columbus for the TNNA (The National Needlework Association) trade show.  I was staying at the Hilton Hotel across the street from the convention center.  Apparently, so were The Rolling Stones.  I did briefly meet their keyboardist, Chuck Leavell, which I mentioned yesterday.  I have known about this confluence of events since the day that the tour was announced in late March.  I would have had no problem going to the show alone, but I was sure that I would enjoy the evening more if I could convince my boss, my colleague, my friend at the button company to go to the show as well.  When I told him about the fact that The Rolling Stones would be in town on Saturday night when we were in Columbus he was, I think these words will work....uncurious, uninterested, unresponsive and unconcerned.  No problem, I AM a salesman.  I figured that he would go.  And I figured that if he went that he would enjoy himself.  Right and Right.  We took along another friend from the industry and the three of us made the taxi ride from downtown Columbus to the venue.  It did not take long before we found an honest ticket re-seller and we more-or-less paid face value for tickets which were about middle distance away from the stage, considering how far away one really can be at a football stadium-sized rock show.   Everyone had a good time.  Yes, I know....Shocking.


breakfast oat meal, eggs, bacon, granola, fruit cup                                         calories 1396 calories
lunch      two apples  (trade show)                                                                  calories   190 calories
dinner     MONGOLIAN GRILL, scallops, calamari, shrimp, salmon           calories  770 calories
snack      COORS Light (at Concert)  three Glenlivet's on the rocks              calories  550 calories

caloric consumption  2907 calories


Here is more proof that I am a nut. I knew that I would not have time between the end of the trade show and going to dinner early and getting to the Stadium to secure The Rolling Sones tickets.  I knew that I would not have time to exercise after the concert. I was out 'drinking' until around 1:30AM late Friday (early Saturday morning) and I knew that I would not want to get up early and exercise.

WHAT TO DO?  (small aside, 'What to do' is the name of an early 1960's Rolling Stones song)
The solution to my dilemma was easy.  I spent 35 minutes on the elliptical machine at 1:30AM in the morning BEFORE RETIRING FOR THE EVENING.  Surprisingly, the fitness room was uncrowded.

1:30 AM Saturday Morning - after a night of 'drinking' - This was a fairly productive workout!

1:30AM Hilton Hotel AMT elliptical machine 35 minutes                             645 calories


The set list

  1. Jumping Jack Flash
  2. It's Only Rock'n Roll
  3. Let's Spend The Night Together
  4. Tumbling Dice
  5. Doom & Gloom
  6. Bitch
  7. Wild Horses
  8. Paint It Black
  9. Honky Tonk Women
    --- Band introductions
  10. Before They Make Me Run (Keith Richards)
  11. Happy (Keith Richards)
  12. Midnight Rambler
  13. Miss You
  14. Gimme Shelter
  15. Start Me Up
  16. Sympathy For The Devil
  17. Brown Sugar
    --- ENCORE
  18. You Can't Always Get What You Want (with choir)
  19. Satisfaction

Show start :  9:30pm
Show end   : 11:38pm

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Yesterday morning, I received an email from my Mom.
My Mom, whom I love dearly reads my blog each day.  
My Mom commented that calories aside, perhaps I should not be
drinking so much alcohol.
I have this to say.  THANK GOODNESS, THANK GOD...
...I was  not blogging back in the days when I was a university student!
Enough said.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 30, 2015


NOT FADE AWAY was written by Buddy Holly and first recorded in 1957 by Holly's band, the Crickets. In 1964, The Rolling Stones recorded a cover version of NOT FADE AWAY. It was the very first 'single' released by the Stones in the United States and it appeared on the Stones' first US released album, England's Newest Hitmakers. Back in the 1960's the song served as the opening number at many Stones shows. During the 1994-95 Voodoo Lounge Tour - the song was again used as the opener.

If there was talk about me fading away, that does not seem to be the current problem. Lately I have been overdoing it on snacking, overdoing it on some portions and overdoing a bit with some drinking at a couple of back-to-back trade shows.  My thing now is to make sure that all my results don't fade away.  I think I may need to return to a 1000 calories per day to correct the recent direction of my weight changes.

224.4 lbs

I weigh 224.4 lbs.
I gained 6.4 lbs this week.
I lost 84.6 lbs in 157 days. Today begins Day 158.
I have lost 14 inches from my waist. 
I will always be at the beginning of a journey that never ends.
I weigh 224.4 lbs. (157 days ago I weighed 309 lbs)
I have lost 27.4% of my weight since Dec 24.
Considering how different my calorie count has been - eating much larger portions of still mostly nutritious foods - I am not shocked at the recent weight gain - but this trend must stop...soon.
I have a BMI, body mass index of 30.02 (far away from obesity!)
I had a 42.0 BMI on 12.24.14 just 150 days ago (Class III obesity)
I wonder about achieving a 'normal weight' - the charts say 186.8 lbs - I'm not too sure about that...
I know this, regardless of what the BMI charts show - Marc Jacobs is no longer a fat man!
I have four words to describe how I feel right now - time to course correct
...I know how to begin this week... 
32 minutes ELLIPTICAL

It would be great to ascribe recent weight gain to muscle building.  And the truth is, there may be a small degree of that... I can feel my body hardening.  I can physically do things now that I would not have dared dream of doing just a few weeks ago.... for example....

When is a 12 story hotel equal to 72 story skyscraper?
When you climb its stairs beginning at the sub-basement level and continue all the way to the rooftop level and you repeat this exercise four times as I did at the Hilton Hotel yesterday.   I counted steps.  Each floor was 16 steps. The number of steps from top to bottom was 289.  I walked 1156 steps total.  That works out to the equivalent of one 72 story climb.  Unlike at home where I have simply gone up 25 flights of stairs, worked out on the elliptical machine and walked down the same staircase 25 flights, at the Hilton Hotel, I climbed the equivalent of of up 18 stories, and back down 18 stories, and repeated this four times.  I was not racing, nor was I resting between ascents and descents.  The whole event took 37 minutes.  Although I have loosely calculated that I might have burned nearly 400 calories - that is not the point. I have a mountain facing me in the not-too-distant future, and I think that I am going to need two things to be successful. I believe these two things to be stamina and confidence. My confidence is building each day, in direct proportion to increased stamina. I no longer fear this adventure. I embrace it.

On the same day that I did this, I had my best workout on an elliptical machine....ever.  I got into a groove and I kept up upping the time until my workout was exactly one hour. The specific elliptical machine (PRECOR AMT ADAPTIVE MOTION TRAINER) requires much more energy of its user and many more calories are allegedly burned on this machine than a standard elliptical machine.

And one more thing I did yesterday, after working out on the elliptical machine was begin to learn how to use dumb bells for muscle building in the upper body.

My physical strength and stamina have never been stronger.
This of course, makes it a bit ironic that I am seeing a gastroenterologist to determine the source of anemia.  Anemia does not outwardly appear to be anything that I am suffering from!

Yesterday, I received a phone call from the Gastroenterologist office advising me that all the biopsies of tissue sampled from my colonoscopy and endoscopy were negative.  Although the source of my anemia remains a mystery, pending the results of still more additional testing, some of my worst fears have been erased.

Yesterday, was quite a momentous day....
72 story stair climb, massively exhilarating accomplishment...
1 hour on the treadmill, massively exhilarating workout...
Call from Gastroenterologist, massively exhilarating news...

and one more interesting thing....

Last night in the Hilton Bar around 12:30AM I had the opportunity to meet the musical director of The Rolling Stones who are in Columbus getting ready for a concert tonight at Ohio Stadium.  Chuck Leavell has recorded and toured with The Rolling Stones for 33 years. On stage he plays keyboards and as musical director he is said to be charged with creating set lists for each show (with the input and approval of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) I asked Chuck if it was really true that setlist creation was his responsibility and he confirmed that it really was.  The guy was extremely gracious and happy to pose for a photo with me. (Just look at the photo, he looks at least as happy I do!)

Chuck Leavell graciously poses for a photo with me at 12:30 AM (Saturday morning)
About 21 hours after this photo was taken, Leavell will be onstage with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood in front of approximately 60,000 fans at Ohio Stadium as one more stop on the Rolling Stones 'ZipCode Tour'


breakfast   two bowls oatmeal, two apples, eggs, bacon, fruit                               1036  calories
lunch         Ahi Tuna Tacos, two apples, granola                                                      960 calories
dinner        lamb with noodles, beet salad                                                                 536 calories
snacks (drinking)  5 double Glenlivet's on the rocks                                                690 calories

caloric consumption  3223 calories

calories burned
stair climbing (72 stories) up and down                                384 calories
ellipical, 60 minutes                                                             1222 calories

total calories burned 1606 calories


Friday, May 29, 2015


 My travels have now brought me to Columbus, Ohio for the TNNA Show. The National Needlearts Association tradeshow. This show occurs twice per year.  In the earlier part of the year, usually January, the show happens on the west coast. The summer show has traditionally taken place in June in Columbus, Ohio. Beginning next year, the show is scheduled to visit different cities instead of almost always being in Columbus. This wholesale only show caters to Needlepoint and Yarn Shops.  As most fine yarn shops carry specialty buttons, one of the companies that I represent as an independent sales rep, Dill Buttons, is a vendor here where we have lots of customers.


breakfast  oat meal                                                                                                    300 calories
lunch        Turkey Jerky, Fruit & Nut bar, two apples                                               800 calories
dinner       Chili Bowl, wedge salad                                                                           608 calories
snacks      salted plantain chips, 7 Quaker rice cakes, 4 Glenlivet's on the rocks    1017 calories

total caloric consumption  2725 calories

PRECOR AMT TRAINER with OPEN STRIDE  (HILTON HOTEL)                      596 calories


Thursday, May 28, 2015


THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN'.  This was a hit song from Nancy Sinatra.  Here are some details lifted from wikipedia:
These Boots Are Made for Walkin' is a pop song written by Lee Hazelwood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra.  It was released on February 22, 1966, and hit No. 1 in the United States Billboard HOT 100 and in the UK Singles Chart.

As I shared with you a few weeks ago, I had purchased hiking boots while I was in Minnesota earlier this month.  I finally started to wear them only around my own home to make sure that I was happy with them and that they were snug, and comfortable.



With my hiking boots (shoes) and my backpack - I really think that my major equipment purchases are done.  Now it is time to train.   The HALF DOME hike is only 4 months away.

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I think that this was the week that I started getting SERIOUS about training for this hike.  It was this past week that I first tried, and succeeded in climbing up my 25 story building from ground to top floor.   Each time it took about 4.5 minutes.  In that this this the type of activity that I had previously NEVER done in my entire life - training has officially begun.
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breakfast cup Steel Cut Oat Meal w/prune, two eggs, three slices turkey bacon
                two apples, uncooked cold corn on the cob (delicious)                                       575 calories
lunch      JIMMY JOHN'S BOOTLEGGER UNWICH, PICKLE                                       250 calories
dinner    dinner was eaten during the 6 hour drive, Chicago to Columbus, OH
               toasted coconut chips, vegetarian style jersey, muesli fruit granola, 2 apples    1514 calories

calories consumed 2339 calories

Calories Burned

ASCENDING 25 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS 4:28 MINUTES         60 calories
ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 32 MINUTES                                  500 calories

total calories burned  580 CALORIES

MONDAY NET CALORIES   1759 calories

Below are some more random photos of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


As you finish reading today's blog entry...You will better understand what the 1960's Batman TV Show Logo is doing here... First, I would like to let you know that another important piece of equipment for the HALF DOME October hike has been secured....

There are many advantages of planning an ascent up HALF DOME in Yosemite National Park with an experienced hiker who has done it before.  My brother, has hiked HALF DOME seven times. This tells me, that it must be a very worthwhile adventure.  I have heard it referred to as 'life-changing.'   This is easy to imagine. Simply attempting to prepare for a HALF DOME hike is life changing!

The group of 6 or 7 of us that are scheduled to make this climb on October 1st will be leaning heavily on my brother to share his experiences with us.  It is likely that we will avoid a lot of 'rookie mistakes.'   We WILL likely pack enough water, an extra pair of socks, gloves for the final ascent 'up the chains' and we will take his advice on many other details.

On Monday, my brother advised me that he had purchased a CAMELBAK backpack on sale at R.E.I.  I determined that this would be a good day for me to make my backpack purchase as well.  Not only did I buy the same make and model, I even purchased the same color. I guess we will look like brothers on the rock (which should work out well as we ARE brothers.)

This pack which has a retail price of $143.99 at was on sale at 25% OFF with FREE 2-Day SHIPPING and as this store does not have a physical presence in Illinois, there was no sales tax. My purchase of this extremely important piece of equipment (perhaps really the only equipment needed for a day hike of this sort) was $107.99.

CamelBak Fourteener 24 Hydration Backpack - 1280 cubic inches

Once again, this trip in October became a little more real.  I am no longer fearful that I will not be able to complete this hike.  This does not mean that I don't expect it to be a great mental and physical challenge - because I do.

breakfast Steel Cut Oat Meal w/prune,  two fried eggs, two slices turkey 'bacon'   505 calories
lunch       spinach salad w/hearts of palm, beets, mushrooms, tomato, artichokes
                56 almonds, two red delicious apples                                                        449 calories
dinner     spinach salad w/hearts of palm, beets, mushrooms, tomato, artichokes
                bowl MISO SOUP, cucumber salad, Turkey Burger, Corn on the Cob (2)  549 calories
SNACK  TWO APPLES, baked rice crisps, KIND ALMOND BA                           390 calories

total calories consumed  1893 calories


ASCENDING 25 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS 4:28 MINUTES         60 calories
ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 32 MINUTES                                  491 calories

total calories burned  571 CALORIES

MONDAY NET CALORIES   1352 calories

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Originally I had imagined the last part up this mountain 'on the chains' being something akin to BATMAN & ROBIN as they used to climb skyscrapers in the 1960's TV Show.  My brother has assured me that that is not the case.  There are any number of photos on the internet which sure make it seem that way.   For example:

I think only a moron could look at these photos taken at HALF DOME and not be scared out of one's wits! From these photos it looks a little too much like the DYNAMIC DUO when they were scaling skyscrapers on the 1960's TV Show.

Batman and Robin (Adam West & Burt Ward) meet Sammy Davis Jr.

Apparently it is NOT quite this way.  My brother's friend Jimmy Ferguson took this picture.  In this photo, it appears that part of this journey could be accomplished wearing flip flops! And yet, I am guessing that that would probably NOT be a good idea!



Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Some staircases are harder to climb than others.

It is clear that that there might be unique challenges if one lived in M.C. Escher's world of RELATIVITY.  from Wikipedia:
Relativity is a lithographprint by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher, first printed in December 1953.  It depicts a world in which the normal laws ofgravity do not apply. The architectural structure seems to be the centre of an idyllic community, with most of its inhabitants casually going about their ordinary business, such as dining. There are windows and doorways leading to park-like outdoor settings. All of the figures are dressed in identical attire and have featureless bulb-shaped heads. Identical characters such as these can be found in many other Escher works
The stairwell in the building in which I live thankfully is much more straightforward,  the distance from the ground floor to the top floor, which is home to the fitness room is 25 floors.   Yesterday, Monday, 25 May...25 floors were traversed by me.  This is a personal achievement which makes me extremely happy.

There have been a few occasions when I had previously tried to simply go from the ground floor up to the 12th floor where I live. Religiously observant Jews do not use electricity on Shabbat (Sabbath) and although I am not a traditional religiously observant Jew who follows this custom, yet there were a few times when I wondered what it would be like if I was.  How would I manage to get home without the elevator?  It was likely more than one year ago when I climbed the twelve flights a two or three times. It was not easy, I had to stop multiple times along the way to catch my breath and by the time I entered my apartment I was completely weak-kneed, out-of-breath and practically ready to collapse.  That experiment was not completely successful.

I have been a Shabbat dinner guest at the home of friends of mine that are religiously observant Jews who do follow the laws of Judaism much as they are prescribed in the Torah (First Five Books of Moses, Old Testament) and when I walked with them back to their apartments after a Friday evening service, it was embarrassing how challenging walking up just 4 flights of stairs to their homes could be for me.

Since these experiences were my frame of reference for STAIR CLIMBING before this weekend began - it is easy to see why I was concerned, actually somewhat petrified that I was going to have a very tough time hiking HALF DOME in October.

As I wrote yesterday, I still expect this hike to be very challenging.  Now I have confidence that I will be able to rise to the challenge. (In fact, I need to be able to rise 4800 feet for this challenge!) This blogger, who clearly is a bit daft, could not wait to attempt the 25 floor walk-up on Monday after successfully walking up and down 13 floors on Sunday.  My workout for Monday took place at 1:00AM  - particularly early on Monday morning.

I entered the elevator and in order to get to the 25th floor - I rode down to the ground floor.  I exited the elevator and WALKED UP 25 FLOORS.  I was a bit winded when I arrived.  I rested for about two minutes and proceeded to the ELLIPTICAL MACHINE for my 32 minute workout.  After finishing on the elliptical machine, I WALKED DOWN 25 flights of stairs back to the ground floor.  Then I took the elevator back up to 12.


It will be interesting for me to see how much I can imrove on these times as I progress.  Perhaps at some point I will attemept to walk up, walk down and REPEAT.  We'll see... There is no sense in overdoing it.  For the time being, I will be satisfied with one round trip periodically.

breakfast  Steel Cut Oat Meal w/prune, two poached eggs, two slices turkey bacon  505 calories
lunch        spinach salad w/mushroom, tomato, hearts of palm, beets   28 almonds    589 calories
dinner      spinach salad w/mushroom, tomato, hearts of palm, beets, slice bacon
                 chicken broth, 4 ounces Black Angus, honey nut & banana granola          829 calories

total calories consumed  1923 calories


ASCENDING 25 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS 4 MINUTES              60 calories
ELLIPTICAL MACHINE 32 MINUTES                                  496 calories
DESCENDING 25 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS 3 MINUTES            20 calories

total calories burned  576 CALORIES

MONDAY NET CALORIES   1347 calories

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My list of favorite artists is likely a list of just one entry.  Ever since I was a Junior in high school, M.C. Escher's artistic interpretations have captured my imagination.

The art world can be a funny place....
Here is a New York Times story from 2006

A Pollock Is Sold, Possibly for a Record Price by Carol Vogel

Published: November 2, 2006

The Hollywood entertainment magnate David Geffen has sold a classic drip painting by Jackson Pollock for about $140 million, art experts with knowledge of the transaction said yesterday.

 This so-called painting, "No. 5, 1948" measures approximately 4 feet by 8 feet.  in 2006 it sold for $140,000,000?  Really? 

Monday, May 25, 2015


It appears that today, I will be getting in touch with my feminine side.  Just so you know, it takes a REAL MAN to admit that he has a feminine side. Yes, I know that that it counterintuitive.

I am going to share with you part of the lyrics to a song sung by Maria (Julie Andrews) in the extraordinary 1965 film, THE SOUND OF MUSIC.   The lyrics come from the song, I Have Confidence. (Rogers and Hammerstein)

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
And here I'm facing adventure
Then why am I so scared?
I really do have a feminine side. I have a few favorite movies.  They are Star Trek (2010), Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Field of Dreams, The Fiddler on the Roof, most James Bond films (especially with Sean Connery or Daniel Craig), The Ten Commandments, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. 


Do you remember how Darth Vader in Star Wars says about Luke Skywalker, "The force is strong with this one."  Given the opportunity, one could correctly say of me, "The femininity is strong with this one."  How else to explain tearing up watching parts of The Sound of Music, particularly emotional parts of Field of Dreams, or the self-termination of the 'good' Terminator in Terminator II?

One more time, I just want to remind you that it takes a REAL MAN to admit this.

Moving on...

The reason that these lyrics were speaking to me is that although I am signed up for the expedition (now 7 of us - The Magnificent Seven?) for the hike up HALF DOME in YOSEMITE PARK in October.  I have been very concerned that I would not be able to do it.   As the song lyrics go..."to do the things I've never dared. And here I'm facing adventure. Then why am I so scared?" Me hike (climb) HALF DOME? Yes, I have been thinking about it just about every day since my brother invited me to join his expedition, and especially since the 5 minutes it took me to make the decision and say, "yes, count me in."  THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION HAVE SCARED ME.  It's not even the final ascent using the chains that has scared me so much (although it certainly did) - I have been more concerned that I would never get to that approach in the first place...

My confidence started to uptick when I did nothing more exotic than bounding up five flights of stairs on the way to my workout on Saturday.   On Sunday, my confidence SOARED when I discovered that I could walk up 13 (thirteen) flights of stairs from my 12th floor apartment to the 25th floor where the fitness room is located.  If I can do this, and I can, because I did, then maybe I really can train to ascend 4800 feet from the base in the valley of HALF DOME to its Summit.  I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN ME.  It feels great. No longer scared, I am more excited than ever.  I am going to continue stair climbing. My building is 25 floors from ground floor to the top where the fitness room is located.  I will work on navigating all 25 floors prior to working out... Once I accomplish that, I may start to time myself to get better at this.  Now I also know that I don't have to be fearful of stepping onto a STAIRMASTER machine if/when I see one at a YMCA.  I should, and I will embrace the opportunity.  

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breakfast   cup Steel Cut Oat Meal w/prune, 3 slices turkey bacon, two eggs   355 calories
lunch         7 ounce Salmon, asparagus
                  2 ounces Glenlivet's (L'Chaims at Chabad House - It's Shavuous)    585 calories
dinner       Huge Supermarket Salad, Red Delicious Apple
                 Honey Nut & Banana Granola                                                         1272 calories

total calories consumed  2242 calories

I was a bit 'wired' late Saturday night, which technically was EARLY Sunday morning.  My Sunday workout took place at the ridiculous hour of 2:00AM.  This was the time that I chose to climb the 13 flights of stairs to the fitness room.   After my workout, I walked down the same 13 flights to return to my apartment on the 12th floor.  (My thinking is, at HALF DOME, we will be climbing up and ultimately climbing down)  I believe the leader of this expedition, my brother, Andy, has indicated that climbing down is no picnic either.  So I better be prepared for both.

2:00AM  climbed up 13 flights of stairs to fitness room                 
               32 minutes elliptical machine 507 calories
               walked down 13 flights of stairs back to apartment

SUNDAY NET CALORIES  1735 calories

This information was lifted from

How Many Calories are Burned Going Up & Down Stairs for Ten Minutes?
For a person who weighs 200 lbs., walking up and down stairs burns 127 calories in 10 minutes.
I don't think it took too long for me to traverse the 13 flights of stairs, perhaps only a minute or so (I did not time myself)... I definitely see  STAIRMASTER MACHINE WORKOUTS in my future... 

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When Maria is running through the courtyard to the Von Trapp house in "I Have Confidence", she trips.  This was an accident, however, director Robert Wise liked this so much that he kept it in the movie.  He felt that it added to the nervousness of the song and of the character.

The Sound of Music Box Office


 $8,200,000 (estimated)


 $163,214,286 (USA)

Seems to me, like this is a pretty good ROI (RETURN ON INVESTMENT)

Sunday, May 24, 2015


In the same way that a person is usually incapable of being a fan of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, or the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, or CNN and FOX NEWS... I am a Star Trek fan (not a Star Wars fan.)  Nevertheless, today I will use a character from Star Wars to illustrate that I no longer look like I recently did.

On August 21, 2014 my family spent the day on the world famous Jersey Shore, specifically the Asbury Park Beach before attending a beautiful wedding of our friend Jack and his bride, Esther.  My wife took a picture of me that I did not treasure.  In fact, I wanted no part of it. The photo made me feel ill. And here it is:
As you can see, I could have easily played the part of Jabba the Hutt in any of the Star Wars films:
I look at my photo form August 2,1 2014 - and Jabba don't look so bad....

Fast forward to yesterday, the first day of the Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago.  The weather was glorious, and the temperature finally tipped over 80º F. (27º C)  I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try to replicate my August 21, 2014 photo - so I did.   My 13 year old daughter, Sara,  was the photographer.  Here is me today (well, actually yesterday.)
May 23, 2015 North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois (218 lbs)
In the August 2014 photo, your Jabba the Hutt impersonator is (un)proudly wearing 50" waist khaki shorts and an XXL (extra extra large) t-shirt and a one-size-fits-all, Glenn Beck baseball cap.

In the May 2015 photo, your intrepid blogger, weighing 90 pounds less,  who much more closely resembles a normal human being is PROUDLY wearing a pair of 36" waist khaki Columbia™ shorts and simple L (large North Face™ t-Shirt) and just to be consistent, the same Glenn Beck baseball cap. Have I mentioned before that I am a fan of Glenn Beck?  


breakfast   Steel Cut OatMeal w/prune, two eggs, two strips turkey 'bacon'              505 calories
lunch        *Huge Supermarket Salad w/chicken, imitation crab, ham, egg, etc
                 red delicious apple, 4 Medjool dates                                                       1109 calories
dinner       Spinach salad w/hearts of palm, beets, cucumber, tomato, mushroom
                 4 ounces Black Angus Sirloin                                                                     339 calories

total calories   1953 calories

calories burned
elliptical 32 minutes 518 calories**

*One thing I know is that I really make a feast of a supermarket salad.  I add imitation crab, ham, chicken, tomato, onion, cucumber, beets, small portion of sunflower seeds, baby corn, small portion of chick peas, artichokes, sometimes maybe even ten croutons, hard boiled egg.  THE THINGS THAT I DO NOT INCLUDE ARE CHEESE AND DRESSING.  Previously I had estimated the calories of such a salad at 500 calories.   I am going to start estimating it at 750 calories.   I am extremely confident that at 750 calories I am wildly OVERSTATING THE CALORIES.   However, I believe it is better to overestimate than underestimate.  So, I will just assume 750 calories and 'know' that the actual number almost certainly has to be far less.

**today after my workout, I took the elevator 5 floors lower than my floor in order to WALK UP five flights.   I remember so well, when I was 300+ pounds attempting to walk up twelve floors from ground level to my floor, and although I managed it - I was winded beyond winded, and in order to complete this I needed to rest multiple times along the way.  Today I bounced up those five flights like it was absolutely nothing. So the next time I exercise, I am going attempt to WALK UP THE THIRTEEN FLIGHTS OF STAIRS from the 12th floor to the 25th floor where the fitness room is before I workout on the elliptical machine.  I know that I could barely accomplish this a year ago when I tried it.  And I better start doing some stair climbing if I am serious about training for and hiking up HALF DOME at YOSEMITESTAIR CLIMBING WILL BEGIN IN EARNEST THE VERY NEXT TIME I EXERCISE.  My building does not have a stair master machine, but I now intend to become a STAIR MASTER. Right now, I am a stair apprentice.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

More information regarding Jabba the Hutt (from Wikipedia)

Jabba the Hutt is a character appearing in George Lucas's space opera film saga Star Wars.  He is depicted as a large, slug-like alien.  His appearance has been described by film critic Roger Ebert as a cross between a toad and a Cheshire Cat.

Jabba the Hutt - profile
Crime lord
Nal Hutta;  resident of Tatooine
Hutt Cartel
The thing is.... I really did resemble this creature when I was 309 lbs.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


STAIRWAY TO THE STARS was unleashed upon the world on the first BLUE OYSTER CULT album in 1972.  Even today, both lead vocalists from that band provide the core of a reformed band that still plays concerts year-round.  This band was great in 1972 (although it was not until 1975 that I personally discovered them)   They are still great today.  Perhaps the name of the band was ill-advised, while they did have a heyday when they packed 20,000 seat stadium for their shows, those days are long gone, and today they really do have a 'cult' following.  Count me in as part of that cult.

The eponymously titled debut album: BLUE OYSTER CULT
I have been trying to come to terms with allowing myself to eat more and still wanting to lose more weight. I am no longer in a hurry to drop the pounds. But while I adjust to yet another lifestyle change, that is upping my daily caloric intake from 1000 to nearly 2000 calories per day, I do want to be careful not to go in the wrong direction.  My Friday started at 5:30AM when I woke up in order to get ready to be at the hospital for my colonoscopy at 6:45AM. On Thursday, my total calories were just 240.  On Friday, after my colonoscopy had a oversized appetite.  My caloric intake on Friday was  just under 2000.  I was also awake and still drinking fluids until around 3AM as I was simply 'wired' as I had taken a nap during the day, as the after-affects of the hospital 'procedure' had gotten to me a bit.  I did weigh myself on THURSDAY MORNING before I started playing havoc with my digestive system, and on Thursday morning I did weigh 219 lbs.   So, as I jump on the scale today, Saturday, if the weight is signficantly higher than that, I am going to assume that most of it is water weight as my body tries to re-balance after emptying my colon on Thursday. Friday night's dinner was also extra late in the evening, and I am not sure that my body has had the normal time to digest my meal completely.  That's my story - and I am sticking to it.

218.2 lbs

I weigh 218.2 lbs.
I gained 1.4 lbs this week.
I lost 90.8 lbs in 150 days. Today begins Day 151.
I have lost 14 inches from my waist. 
I will always be at the beginning of a journey that never ends.
I weigh 218.2 lbs. (143 days ago I weighed 309 lbs)
I have lost 29.4% of my weight since Dec 24.
Considering how different my calorie count has been - eating much larger portions of still mostly nutritious foods - I am satisfied.  I must consider cutting back just a bit to continue to lose weight.
I have a BMI, body mass index of 29.19 (far away from obesity!)
I had a 42.0 BMI on 12.24.14 just 150 days ago (Class III obesity)
I wonder about achieving a 'normal weight' - the charts say 186.8 lbs - I'm not too sure about that...
I know this, regardless of what the BMI charts show - Marc Jacobs is no longer a fat man!
I have three words to describe how I feel right now - ready to proceed
...I know how to begin this week... 
32 minutes ELLIPTICAL

breakfast                                not applicable/colonoscopy                          ----
lunch    huge spinach salad with chicken, tomato, mushroom, hearts of palm,
             imitation crab, onion, beets, cucumber, artichokes  
             28 almonds, red delicious apple, nut bar, 2 Medjool dates         1087 calories
dinner  6 ounce broiled walleye fish, spinach salad, 28 almonds, 
             two medjool dates, cucumber                                                       847 calories

total calories  1934 calories

calories burned
7PM ELLIPTICAL 32 MINUTES  494 calories

Friday net calories 1440 calories

dinner was a major improvement of Thursday's menu of broth and jell-o!

Eric Bloom & Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser of Blue Oyster Cult a long time ago...

Eric Bloom & Donald 'Buck Dharma' Roeser of Blue Oyster Cult  much more recently...
There is some irony in that Blue Oyster Cult somehow managed
to never be a musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
Nevertheless, Blue Oyster Cult and the their use of a 'cowbell'
on their hit song 'Don't Fear the Reaper' were parodied on one of the
most famous and funniest skits in the history of SNL.
Will Ferrell plays the part of Eric Bloom.  Simply Hilarious.
Creepy, freaky actor, Christopher Walken plays the role of their producer
who needs...MORE COWBELL!

You would have to be familiar with the MORE COWBELL
skit from Saturday Night Live to understand what
Christopher Walken is doing here....

Friday, May 22, 2015


Hi, it's me...I'm back.  The endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures were scheduled for 8AM and I was instructed to arrive one hour early. As I was anesthetized I have no memory of the procedure.  I do know that I started getting hungry last evening, and I was hungry when I woke up this morning. So, I headed to Mariano's Market for a BIG DELICIOUS SPINACH SALAD with a myriad of toppings after my release from the hospital at 10:00AM.

I was not looking forward to this procedure, but I didn't go 'kicking and screaming'

Although I left the hospital with two sheets of paper regarding the colonoscopy and endoscopy results, they don't mean much too me.  A 5mm polyp was found which I am led to understand is in itself not a gigantic issue. Some diverticula was found, and this too, is not a major issue as best I understand at this time.  And finally, the report indicated that my terminal ileum appeared normal (and I am writing this sentence having no idea what that is - I will look it up later.)

The initial endoscopy report noted a small hernia.  (Again, until I speak with my doctor, I don't know what to make of this)  The doctor found evidence that I might have 'Barrett's esophagus.' The report also noted that my stomach and duodenum were normal.  Obviously I need to speak with my doctor to find out what any of this really means.

breakfast  4 cups chicken broth, 1 package Jello-o Gelatin                                    60 calories
lunch        8 cups chicken broth, 2 packages Jell-o Gelatin                                  120 calories
dinner       4 cups chicken broth, 1 package Jell-o Gelatin                                     60 calories

total calories consumed 240 calories

12 Midnight (long before the Colonoscopy Preparations began)  32 minutes elliptical 532 calories

Thursday net calories 292 calories

Following the protocols for preparing for a colonoscopy certainly agree with someone who is trying to lose weight.  Nevertheless, I do not recommend it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


My blog heading today is my attempt at a little bit of humor.  'Jumping Jack Flash. It's a gas, gas, gas' are lyrics from a Rolling Stones song. So the title was my little way of injecting either humor or cleverness into this post - perhaps I have done neither. I don't know...

My second follow-up with my physician on May 11 indicated anemia.  As it had been nearly a decade since my initial colonoscopy. It was highly recommended that I get this procedure again now to discover what may be causing the anemia. Yesterday I met the one of the partners at the GASTROENTEROLOGIST office and it was not much more than an initial consultation.  My 'procedure' is scheduled for Friday - this means that today's (Thursday) menu will not be too complicated. I will be home all day emptying my colon. Sounds like great fun...

MOVIPREP what I am under doctor's orders to drink today. Approximately one liter around 11AM and another liter around 7PM. And the effect of this will be that I will be 'evacuating' my colon all day. I can drink clear liquids, like flavored water, until midnight. The closest thing to food that I am allowed to eat is chicken or beef broth and/or Yellow Jello.

I find this name of this product somewhat amusing - MOVIPREP? It seems to me that in the old days when I went to the movie theatre to watch the latest James Bond or Star Trek Film - my idea of 'MOVIE PREP' was to stop at a Walgreen's to pick up enough candy and other sweets to last me through a two hour movie. This 'MOVIPREP' is whole different ballgame!

Since I am have persistently exercised each day since January 3rd, and it appears that today was not going to be a day for exercise - I did manage to spend my 32 minutes on the elliptical machine at 12 o'clock midnight (Thursday) just a few hours ago - so that I have 'officially' not missed a day of exercise since the beginning of the year.  Tomorrow after my procedure and after the effects of the anesthesia have worn off and after I eat some kind of hearty meal - it should not be too long before I am ready to get my 32 minutes in on Friday.

breakfast  bowl steel cut oatmeal w/prune, two poached eggs, three slices turkey 'bacon'  535 calories
lunch       MARIANO'S HUGE SALAD                                                                              500 calories
dinner      spinach salad w/hearts of palm, beets, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomato
                7 oz salmon, canned asparagus, Cracovia cucumber salad
                pecans, 3 Organic Medjool dates, 28 almonds                                             1286 calories

total calories consumed 2321 calories

calories burned
9AM elliptical 32 minutes 546 calories


I definitely had a more for dinner than I usually consume - tomorrow should balance it out nicely.  Today, my calories will be much closer to zero than 1000.  I am allowed to have broth and jello.
This is going to be a challenging day - I am fairly certain about that....

My next post on Friday morning will likely be delayed about 6 hours later than normal.   I am going to wait until I return from the colonoscopy before I post.

I was thinking that this was going to be a very unusual day today. I did want to know my weight before dehydrating myself with MOVIPREP. This morning, I weighed 219 lbs. I am still more-or-less where I need to be right now. I think that I have been stretching the limits of caloric intake if I still want to lose weight. After this colonoscopy and after this weekend, I expect to have a little less enthusiasm for 2000 calorie days. However, even after eating as much as I have been eating... almonds, pecans, dates and a few too many apples and huge salads, and generally bigger portions of everything... I must remind myself that I am still down exactly 90 pounds. I want to get back in the direction of weighing less - but I am in unambiguously in a very good place right now. I do look and feel great. I will feel greater around lunchtime tomorrow after my colonoscopy!

 See you on Friday...!