Category: True Life Adventures

Bananas & Narwhals

I’ve become addicted to bananas.

In my quest to get back in my ideal shape, I’ve just gone bananas for bananas.  I will eat a five or six a day, usually one right after the other.  I like them because they are easy to carry around with you, they peel easy and there’s no tools necessary in eating them.  They are great to have in my office to eat throughout the day as I work.  I like oranges, but they just seem to take too much time and effort to peel.  Apples are good, but I have teeth issues (a whole other blog post) and so just gnawing away on an apple is out.  I do have a pocket knife at the office and have used it to slice up apples and eat them, but it’s an office.  Without a kitchen.  So cutting and cleaning is a pain.  That’s why I likes me some bananas.  This has resulted in almost daily trips to the grocery store to pick up bananas.

One store I frequent to buy for my banana habit is Albertsons.  I usually don’t shop regularly at Albertons because I find their prices are bit higher than other places, but they have decent prices on bananas and I’m lazy and they are right next to one of the Subways I frequent.  The whole store just seems a little fancy to me.  It’s not, if you saw it you’d say, “No, this is just a regular grocery store.” but to me it just gives off the vibe of being fancy.

Perhaps part of the ‘fancy’ factor is that they have televisions at every check stand, so you can watch the tube as you wait in line.  And you will always wait in line at this Albertsons because in all the times I’ve been in there they only have two out of the ten or so check stands open.  One is always the 12 items or less.  The other is a normal one and that one always has 5 or more people in line with big carts full of stuff.  So the 12 items or less always has 15 people in it, usually with one item.  And the checkers are S L O W in both lines, so a ‘quick trip to Albertsons will become an 30 minute affair.  Luckily, they have TVs in line.

The Narwhal
The Narwhal

One day I’m waiting in the 12 items or less line with my bunch of bananas for the day and I’m watching the TV ans it’s a string of short videos directed towards kids.  I find this particularly amusing and there’s not a kid in sight.  In fact, with the clientele in the store that morning, I was the closest thing to a kid there.  And I’m thirty eight!  Anyway, I’m standing there when the TV starts doing a feature about Narwhals.  A pleasent lady doing a plesent voiceover was giving all sorts of facts about narwhals.  Where they live, what they eat, how big they get, etc..  It was all very fascinating to me when, all ov a sudden she says (and I paraphrase here), “Narwhals have one long horn that comes out of their head just like a unicorn does.”

Wait what?

Did she just use a mythical creature to give kids a frame of reference for a REAL creature?!  Or am I out of the loop and unicorns are actually real?  Couldn’t they have compared the narwhal to..oh I don’t know, a rhinoceros?  Wouldn’t that me more educational?

I know, I know, I’m getting worked up about something silly.  I just thought it was ridiculous to try and be ‘educational’ and make that comparison.  I paid for my bananas, eventually, and went on my merry way.  Keeping one sharp eye open for unicorns.


What fruits do you recommend to snack on during the day?  Low mess, easy to eat.  Let me know.

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Do you know the secret? – UPDATED 01/01/2013

Wow!  Good for you snoop!  You found my blog and as a reward, here’s the secret….

I’m trying something new with the Advent Calendar this year.  If you’ve watched Day #001 for 2012, you may have noticed a single frame of video in the credits with a picture of my face and the words ‘Do you know the secret?’.

Well, the secret is that I’m not happy with where I am weight wise.  I know I’m not super heavy, but I’m above my ‘goal’ weight which is about 150.  I sort of ‘lost my way’ when it comes to eating right and I wanted to force myself back into the patten of doing so.

So starting today, December 1, I’m going on a strict diet, tracking my food, and ramping up the exercise.  Each day of the Advent Calendar, I will take a single still frame of my face.  My goal is to be down several pounds by the time the Advent Calendar is over, and then, after December 25, I can make a short video of the still frames of my face to see if there’s any visible difference in weight loss in my face.

I’m just trying to find a way to hold myself accountable for getting to where I want to be.  I don’t think I’ll be back to 150 by December 25th, that’s a little drastic.  But I hope to make progress.

I’d love for you to support me in my goal.  You can do that by going to the Advent Calendar Facebook Page at:

And simply post ‘I Know The Secret’ on the wall.  It’ll show me you’ve found this page, and I’ll know I have your support!  It’ll also encourage others to find out the secret, so don’t give it away! 🙂

Thanks, as always.  Happy Holidays!


Well that was a failure.  I actually wound up GAINING weight because I couldn’t help myself around all the big holiday meals.


I’m at the highest I’ve been since I lost 80lbs a few years ago.

Part of the problem, I believe, the whole thing being a secret!  The idea was get supporters to to cheer me on as I strive for a goal.  But doing the stupid ‘Do You Know The Secret?’ thing it was a secret only two folks found out about.  It also built up expectations in the minds of the people who watched the Advent Calendar that there’s be some sort of BIG secret reveal at the end of this all and the ‘secret’ was just me trying to get fit.

Just a big fail on all accounts.

So…like you do at the first of the year, you refocus and that’s what I’ve done.  Starting…yesterday (Dec 31) I’ve begun really focusing in on what I eat.

At my very lowest weight I was like 148/146.  This was far too low.  My goal, I’m stating it publicly is now 152.  I have about 20 pounds to lose.  I’m not putting an end date on when I’d like to achieve it but my weight loss goal is 2 lbs per week.

Another goal is to post here on this blog more frequently, so I shall keep you updated.

Here we go!


How not to do customer service…in my book.

If you’ve read other postings in this, rarely updated, blog you know that certain things about customer service rub me the wrong way.  My Open Letter To AT&T, for example.  Well, I got a new one.

For years I was a longtime user of Quicken on the mac.  I had well over 7 years of finances tracked there.  Long story shot, Apple updates their system software and Intuit decides it’s no longer going to support mac.  So if I want to upgrade to the new system software, I need to find a quicken alternative.  After looking around I choose iBank by IGG software.  It’s certainly not as simple as the Quicken I was used to but it worked and they have an iPhone app which is a plus.

So for over a year I’ve been using iBank.  The other day, I encountered a problem where data downloaded from my back, which in the past had imported fine, was crashing iBank.  No matter what I did, the data never imported and the app just crashed.  So I did all the usual things you do: Make sure I had the latest version, browse the IGG Support site for similar issues, look through their knowledge base.  Nothing really seemed to point to my problem so I go to their email support page.

I filled out the questionnaire they give you.  I described the problem I was having and at their request, included the crash log and the console reports from the crash.  I send off my email and then wait.  Two days later I received the following email from them…


Thank you for contacting IGG Technical Support.  I am sorry to hear you are experiencing issues with iBank.  Can you answer a few questions for me?

– Have you restarted your Mac recently
– Has iBank always behaved this way for you?
– Have you recently transferred data into iBank from another financial application?
– Has there been any changes on your Mac recently?  Any Upgrades?
– Where are you saving your main iBank Document (data) file?
– How many different accounts, categories and transactions do you have? (estimate is fine)
– What happens if you select your accounts individually and then go to Account> Download Transactions for Selected Account?
– Have you read the iBank 4 Manual?
– Have you watched the iBank Tutorial videos?
– Have you tried contacting our Live Chat Support team?   Live Chat support is available from 9:00-5:00 EST Monday-Friday.  To start a Live Chat session go to the following page on our website and click on the green “Live Chat is ON” button below number 3: 
Best regards,

John Sawyer
Technical Support Specialist
IGG Software, Inc.

First of all, that’s not a few questions.  Secondly, it’s the most ridiculous list of questions I can imagine.  A few of these, I understand, but Have You Read The Manual?  Have you watched the tutorials?  I looked in both, there’s no chapter or video called “Crashing while importing Bank Transactions”
And then the most telling question on that list…Have you tried contacting Live Support?  In other words, don’t email us, contact live support.  My question to IGG Software, why have an email us link if you don’t want to be bothered answering questions via email?
I will say this, when I saw I had a reply email from IGG I was excited because I figured I would be able to continue with balancing my finances.  To open the email and be hit with this…wall…of questions was beyond frustrating and made me want to scrap iBank all together.
I see now Quicken has been updated to work on the current Mac system software.  Maybe it’s time to return.
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How To Get A Free Dinner At The Hospital

I can handle horror films. I love blood and guts. In fact, when I was in High School my dream was to become a special effects make-up artist. Give me Karo Syrup and food coloring and I’ll give you a bloodbath!

Real blood and guts however…different story. I’ve never been able to handle even the lightest discussion of the stuff. In college when I had my lower wisdom teeth removed, I stood next to the Doctor who’d be doing the job and he was pointing at the x-rays saying how he was going to cut into my jaw and I got instantly hot and sweaty and pale and waved my hands. “Just do it. Don’t tell me about it!” I said. He turned to me and sat me down and called the nurse for smelling salts. This has happened a few times. I’ve never blacked out completely though.

Until yesterday.
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