Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Diet Time Again

Judy and I both decided today that we don't care for what we see in the mirror - US...  There's way too much of us...

Not only do we not like what we see in the mirror, but our clothes don't fit, we can't sleep well, we have no energy, our muscles ache and we generally feel miserable.  Even my shoes don't fit, making daily life even more miserable.  And that's not the worst of it - our health is probably taking the brunt of all that is wrong with our current lifestyle.

So back to the drawing board.  This picture has got to change.

Where do we start?  Well, we re-read the first (and most important) part of The South Beach Diet.  It's the only diet book/plan that ever made sense/worked for us.

We both did this diet a few years ago and found it to be purposely easy, not difficult or stressful to follow as with many other diets, and it produced noticeable results in a short period of time.
And wouldn't you know it, we picked that worst possible time to make the decision to go on a diet - Thanksgiving is only ten days away.  And we're having family over for the holiday and that means two days of food and more food.  And four weeks later we will be in New Orleans for Christmas and another round of 'food.'
But we're determined to make this work and get us back down to a reasonable size, so we'll be going light on all the things that make Thanksgiving what it's known for - food. 
If things go well over the next ten days we will be smaller by a few ounces, if not pounds, and we will feel a lot better both literally and about ourselves.
I'm keeping a record of my weight and blood pressure starting this morning.  I want to be able to see my progress on a chart that I can share with my cardiologist and my regular doctor, both of whom are encouraging me to lose weight. 
If we keep to it like before, we will both notice physical changes in our bodies within a couple of days, followed quickly by weight loss.  But we know this fast weight loss is not to be confused with real weight loss.  It's mostly water.  But we also know that as our body adjusts to the daily lack of carbs and becomes more accustomed to matabolizing food that is healthy without the heavy penalty of carbs, we will begin to see noticeable changes.
By two weeks we will be able to re-introduce carbs back into our diet.  Only we won't be craving them as we do now.  This is the key to the lifestyle change South Beach promises and lives up to.  And it works just as they say it will. 
Last time, after the initial two week weaning off carbs period, I was consistently losing two pounds a day and felt good about it.  I didn't miss my bread or potatoes or grits or any of the 'white' foods I was so used to eating, more out of habit than anything else.  I was not hungry either.  And I could have skipped the mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks entirely but I was determined to stick with the plan.  I'm glad I did.  My blood pressure settled down, I had more energy and stamina, my brain functioned better, my muscles didn't ache and I slept better.  And more important, I was losing weight instead of adding it.
So now I'm off to weigh and take my blood pressure after having my scrambled egg, orange juice and coffee breakfast.
I'll keep you posted...
Update: 11-21-13
Here's what the diet results are as of this morning:

   Date           Blood Pressure         Pulse       Weight

11-19-13            118/52                     68           311.8

11-20-13            123/59                     71           309.2

11-21-13            124/62                     76           304.6

11-22-13            120/57                     72           303.0

11-23-13            114/52                     76           301.0

11-24-13            125/64                     73           299.4
Uh Oh!  Looks like Thanksgiving got in the way of my diet.
11-30-13          127/66                    72          301.2
Back on track
12-05-13            116/61                     69           295.2

12-06-13            120/58                     78           296.2

12-07-13            119/60                     68           295.8

12-08-13            124/54                     72           294.2

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bank Fraud Attempt on Me with Follow-ups

With all the unabated crime in the world we consider ourselves lucky to have avoided becoming a victim to it.

But today we apparently became a victim of some form of identity theft when someone requested to open an account with Capital Bank using our name and personal information.

As we understand it, when anyone tries to open an account, a routine check is made with the credit bureaus to make sure there are no problems. Apparently, someone with our personal information applied for an account and a Red Flag prompted the bank to call us to confirm whether or not we had tried to open an account. We had not, so that made it a fraud matter, and the account was promptly stopped before any charges occurred.

Then we were turned over to a credit bureau where we were asked questions related to the incident. We knew nothing and gave an affidavit attesting to our lack of knowledge or involvement in the matter.

Now the credit bureau will flag our name so that whenever any new account is opened in our name, we will be immediately contacted to confirm or deny that we are opening the account. This action will be shared with the other credit bureaus and continue for seven years.

Besides scaring the peanut butter out of us thinking it might be someone phishing for our information (which they already had) or trying to confirm it for some other ulterior motive, such as issuing a credit card which we don't need or want, we were reluctant to answer questions without a lot of questions of our own.

We were also encouraged to file a report with our local police department so that they will have the incident on record should fraud activity be detected that is associated with our name.

We promptly received a confirmation via email of the incident report and instructions on how we can protect ourselves.

Within minutes I received a call from American Express's Fraud Division asking if we had recently tried to open an account with them. No... So they killed the account before any approval was given and will call us in the future anytime an account is requested in our name.

I'm sure we will be receiving more calls in the next few days.

I'm still worried that something might get through the crack and put a blemish on our credit history, but I'm also relieved that the system is working to protect me.

12/9/13 4:30 pm

The Police just left after taking our statement and gathering information about the fraud activity.  We had called them after receiving a copy of a denial letter saying the request for credit to purchase a car in Laporte, Texas (Near Houston) was turned down.  The guy said he was calling from Florida to buy a car for his son in Texas.

The girl at the car dealer smelled a rat and rejected the credit request and we received the notice.  It was the only way we knew what was going on.

But Detective Trainee Judy saw the letter as an opportunity to gather more information about the SOB trying to pull this crime off.  So she called the car dealer.  He immediately referred her to their accountant.  Judy explained everything and was successful in getting more information emailed to us, including an AOL email address of the Perp.  I promptly notified AOL that we are not the person claiming to be us and asked them to take appropriate action.  I probably should have waited because the Police may have been able to trace the email address back to a computer, and thus to the Perp. I still haven't heard from AOL as of 5:25 PM today.

While I was doing that, Judy was calling the Police.  The Police lady arrived about five minutes later, apparently thinking there was a crime in progress at our address.  It took a few minutes to explain everything, and wouldn't you know it, we got another call while the Police was still here. This time it was from Capital One Bank wanting to confirm that we had applied for a credit card.  Of course we had not and the application was rejected when I explained what was happening.

So this Perp is trying hard to make it work, but keeps running into rejections.

I wish he would give up and leave us alone.

Now I've got to sign some documents to mail to the credit bureau confirming that I am a victim and an affidavit saying I had no part in the fraud attempt.

I'm sure there are lots of flags up beside our name by now.  Good... Makes me feel better.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Celebration of Life for a Friend

While we were in Florida for the Mini-Fest, enjoying food and fun with some of our many Egghead Friends, another friend was dying of a heart attack back in my old home town of Harrisonburg, Louisiana where he and his wife settled.

Joe Leonard Green 1936 - 2013
We learned of it the following day while in route home to Texas.  It was a shock of course, but as a 77 year old with a number of medical issues, not totally unexpected.

So we made our way home and left a few days later to attend a Celebration of Life for him.  There was no funeral because he donated his body to science, a sort of unselfish final act of generosity so that something good could come of his passing.   That's the kind of man he was.

His wife of 50 years and I grew up together in that small town and have been 'forever friends' as we went our separate ways.  She and Joe retired and moved back into her family home overlooking the Ouachita River just above the Village of Harrisonburg.  It is a beautiful and tranquil place far removed from the fast pace of city life.  And it was well suited to his naturally curious and friendly way with people.

Harrisonburg is also where Joe began his career coaching basketball, all the while continuing to grow his academic career, and eventually moving to college and university campuses in a number of cities.  In each place they landed, they made new friends.  It was their nature to do so.

A lot of those friends also came to Harrisonburg to celebrate his life.  We can easily understand why they came, they too loved the man.

I took the liberty to bring a camera to capture some of the event to show to those who could not be there.

Here is the link to the video I assembled:


I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Mini Fest 2013 - Melbourne, Florida

We promised ourselves to one day attend the Mini Fest in Melbourne, Florida.  So this was the year and we had a great time.  Saw some old friends and made some new ones, ate some fabulous food, consumed a lot of adult beverages and just took advantage of the Atlantic Ocean being right outside our window.

Naturally, there were Big Green Eggs and Eggheads and food.
There's more but I'm tired and need a nap.