The Crotchety Old Man

Dec 13, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Things I Like About Christmas

Things I Like About Christmas

To balance yesterday’s overly negative (but entirely true) post about some of the reasons I hate Christmas, I decided to dedicate today’s post to things I like about the biggest holiday of the year. No doubt you’ve already noticed I said “like” rather than “love”. Call me jaded if you like, but in my old age it takes more to move the needle from like to love. The other thing you’ll notice is that there are only eight things listed. I tried to come up with twelve but failed. Sure, I could have included getting presents, but that’s just tacky. I thought about adding sweet treats to the list but didn’t because I hate the result and alluded to them …

Dec 12, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Twelve Things I Hate About Christmas

Christmas is not my favorite time of year. Back when I was a kid and into my teens and early twenties it was.  There are at least a dozen reasons why my attitude has changed to Bah Humbug. Here’s a sampling. Crowded Stores. From Thanksgiving through the day or two after Christmas, going shopping is a nightmare. I’m a browser and used to enjoy spending a lot of time looking over a particular display for just the right item. Not any more. After getting bumped into half a dozen times and dealing with aisle rage, I’ve learned to keep moving. Traffic. Just getting to shopping outlets is a pain in the ass. Anyplace I’ve ever lived, traffic backs up for …

Dec 07, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Progress!

Yesterday I had my weekly appointment with Armand, my personal trainer. I told him I was getting frustrated and discouraged by my lack of progress. He begged to differ, saying he could tell a big difference since I started working with him two months ago. I wasn’t convinced, so Armand decided to take all my measurements again.  I was pleased but not overly impressed that my percent body fat had dropped by a full point since the last reading. Then he pulled out the tape measure. My calves are two inches bigger than they were two months ago. My thighs and waist are unchanged. My chest, shoulders, and arms each increased by at least two inches. Wow, I guess I’ve …

Dec 06, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Please Take Care of Yourself

Yesterday I learned that a dear friend has colon cancer. I don’t know how involved it is or what the treatment plan will be. Additional tests later this week should answer those questions. Until then I’m trying not to over-react and hoping for the best. In addition to eating a high fiber diet, the chief means of preventing colon cancer is the colonoscopic exam.  By age fifty–if not before–everyone should have one.  Yeah, it’s unpleasant–but not nearly so bad as say, dealing with colon cancer. Shortly after my fiftieth birthday I had a colonoscopic done. The doctor removed two polyps and biopsied a questionable lesion. The lesion was precancerous.  The doctor scheduled me for surgery to have the lesion removed. …

Dec 05, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Bargain Tuna

Since starting Weight Watchers back in May, I’ve significantly increased my consumption of canned tuna.  It’s cheap, a good source of protein, and barely makes a dent in my daily point allowance. What’s not to like? I come home for lunch every day for a leafy green salad. I usually add some fat-free shredded cheddar cheese (one point), some croutons (one or two points, depending on the brand), and use olive oil vinaigrette (two points) because it counts for the healthy oil I’m supposed to eat every day.  Five points for lunch means I can definitely have ice cream before I go to bed. While I say ice cream, in truth, it’s low-fat frozen yogurt. Instead of the five points …

Dec 03, 2011
By Michael Rupured

My First 5K Run…Ever!

My first 5K event took place in January of 2009. I signed up to run in the Chilly Dawg because it  was sponsored by my employer.  The plan was to walk it, but I quit before I even reached the half way point. This morning I ran in the Sleighbell.  Having failed miserably at my first 5K, this time I was bound and determined to finish. To guarantee my success, I trained for three full months.  For the last month, I’ve set my pedometer to 5K at least three times a week and have had no trouble going the distance.  I was ready. The temperature was a brisk 34 degrees when I got up this morning. I put on my …

Dec 02, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Back on Track

Back on Track

I recorded my lowest weight (224) in early August.  That low reflects a total of 22 pounds lost this year. Since that low, my weight has hovered around 226, plus or minus a pound, with a lot more pluses than minuses. My lack of progress has been discouraging. It’s not like I’ve given up. I’m still on Weight Watchers, and since early September, have been going to the gym almost every day and jogging at least three times a week.  I thought by now I’d look like Hulk Hogan and be wearing a Speedo to work on casual Fridays to show off my new physique.  How’s that for an image? The trip to Kentucky back in October for my high …

Nov 29, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Learning Curve

Those of you who know me will attest to the fact that I’m a bit slow.  Though it applies, I’m not talking about my jogging speed. For some reason it takes me a while to figure things out that others pick up right away. For example, I was one of the last people to figure out that I was gay. It’s true. Despite mountains of evidence, I was twenty-one years old before I realized what practically everyone else knew by the time I was sixteen or seventeen. Some of this slowness is a result of having learned the wrong lessons earlier. Right or wrong, once I get something in my head, it takes quite a lot to change my mind.  …

Nov 23, 2011
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Off the Beaten Track

Off the Beaten Track

Counting grad school, I’ve worked in the same small academic field of study for nearly three decades.  Because I’ve skipped it for the last few years, the conference I attended in Jacksonville, Florida last week was a homecoming of sorts.  It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues I’ve grown close to over the years. These friendships are special. Aside from our common interest in family resource management (the broad term for our field of study), we have similar jobs. We also share many of the same interests, challenges, and frustrations–and of course, know a lot of the same people. In other words, we have a lot to talk about. Early in my career, attending one of …

Nov 20, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Glass Houses: Revised

Today I got an e-mail from my editor about Glass Houses. Her page-long message included an eleven-page overview of her suggestions and her version of three re-worked chapters.  A hard copy of the edited manuscript  is on the way and should arrive Monday or Tuesday. The message and summary are effusively positive. The more she worked with the manuscript, the more she fell in love with the story.  One reader down, a couple of million to go. After reading over all her suggestions, I have to say I’m more than pleased. Most involve combining and re-arranging chapters.  In a few places, she’d like to see me add some dialogue. The hardest are her suggestions for me to write more about …

Nov 19, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Educator of the Year

Regular readers know I spent most of the past week at the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education conference in Jacksonville, Florida.  I’ve been a  member since 1989, spent several years on the  Board of Directors, and served as President in 2000.  It’s a great group of which I am proud to be a member. Yesterday at the awards luncheon, I received the Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year Award.  I thought those of you who know me as a writer, dieter, and exerciser might enjoy learning a bit more about my day job. For your reading enjoyment, here is the write-up that appeared in the program for the awards luncheon. As major professor and mentor at the …

Nov 17, 2011
By Michael Rupured

A True Convert

This week I’m attending a conference in Jacksonville,  Florida.  Earlier in my career–back when flying was a pleasant and enjoyable experience–I wouldn’t have even considered skipping.  But the last few years its been held in locations too far for me to reach by car, so I stayed home. It’s great catching up with colleagues I haven’t seen for several years.  Time marches on. Everyone looks at least a little older.  Like most of the rest of America, quite a few have gained weight, too. Travel completely disrupts my new healthy lifestyle.  Eating out once or twice a week when I’m at home makes it hard to lose weight.  Eating every meal out is a recipe for disaster. As with my …

Nov 14, 2011
By Michael Rupured
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Slow & Steady

I’m happy to report that the bathroom scale shows I lost a pound and a half this week. That’s still about a pound and a half more than six weeks ago when I hit my low weight.  Still, after a month of gaining a pound or so every week, I’ll take it. Coincidentally, I joined the gym about six weeks ago. Even though my percent body fat has only dropped by point-seven percent (0.7) since then, the timing suggests the weight gains are the result of an increase in muscle from all the exercise I’ve been doing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It’s an easy case to make. I haven’t done anything even vaguely resembling exercise since …

Nov 11, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Cool Running

As you know, for the last eight weeks I’ve been using the Couch to 5K (C25K) app on my Android to run three times a week. My partner did the same program on his iPhone. I’m not totally up to speed on the differences between the two versions, but it’s obvious to me that the iPhone app is vastly superior to the one I have on my Android. For reasons I’ll never understand, I have to limit the number of apps I download to my Android to avoid running out of room. I had to delete several apps to add C25K. The Weight Watcher’s app is too big for my phone, no matter what else I delete. Consequently, I keep …

Nov 09, 2011
By Michael Rupured

Time Change to Believe In

Last weekend we switched back to Standard Time. Few things mess with my head more than a time change. This year has been especially hard because I can’t figure out how to move the clock on the stereo in my car back an hour. Consequently, I’m always thinking it’s an hour later than it really is. Frankly, setting the clock up or back does little more than piss me off.  Everyone talks about gaining or losing an hour. Whatever. In the end, we still have just twenty-four hours in a day. No matter how you cut it, that’s just not enough time to get everything done. Forget shifting things around an hour. I’m ready for a time change I can …

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