The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: March, 2010

I’d Rather Be in New Zealand

I was looking at my iGoogle page, to see what depressing weather forecast they had for me. The odd thing is that I saw “Marlboro” listed twice. The background on Marlboro is that is where I used to work, in Massachusetts, until my company moved my department down to the Smithfield, Rhode Island campus. It’s an awesome building, and I love it. It’s just not in Marlboro. (Trust me, I’ve done all the testing to verify it.)

I don’t know how my iGoogle weather gadget came to have Marlboro listed twice. More importantly, I don’t know how it came to have Marlboro listed twice with two entirely different forecasts on it. One of them, specifically labeled Massachusetts, says it’s 48 degrees right now, and that it is raining (it is) and that it will be raining tomorrow, and that it will only be about 58 degrees. Yay.

The other Marlboro says it’s currently 68 and sunny. Well, that is odd because it’s not sunny at all here right now. It’s quite dark, given that it’s 9:30pm. And it says it’s already Wednesday. Hmmm.

Clicking the link to Mystery Marlboro opens up a map that I do not recognize. I don’t know any of the place names. I have to back out to see more of the map to realize it’s an island (Oh, how I WISH I WAS ON AN ISLAND IN THE SUN ENJOYING 68 DEGREES!)

Marlboro is a region in NZ that covers mountains down to the pacific ocean. There are apparently a lot of wineries in this area. I’m thinking Marlboro NZ kicks Marlboro Massachusetts’ ass. They have an aviation museum and a sheep sheering attraction. I’m pretty sure Marlboro MA doesn’t have that.

So New Zealand, you have won this round. But our summer is coming and yours is leaving, so I’ll be checking in again in a few months.


Why I’m Not Talking to You About My Diet

So around the beginning of the year, January 2nd to be exact, I finally got fed up with my weight, AND heard some very good things about a simple and free app for the iPhone/Touch. I like simple. I like free. Who doesn’t? The app is called LoseIt! and basically you enter your vitals (age, height, weight) and how much you would like to lose total, and how much you want to lose per week (.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 pounds a week). Boom you’re done. You have a daily budget, and now you just log everything you eat, or all your activities. 1/2 an hour of bowling? That’s 105 calories my friend.

I’m closing in on losing 20 pounds now. I don’t think this weekend is bringing me any closer, but I probably won’t GAIN anything either. I seem to have started to be able to eyeball things pretty well. I’ve gained a level of self-control that I never had before. For example, after eating my Caribbean salad with grilled chicken at Chili’s (instead of unlimited chips and queso and a big juicy burger) I did NOT grab a spoon and dig into the community dessert. I could have, I would have just had to figure out how to add it to my cals for the day, but I didn’t WANT to because it would take me just that much longer to FINALLY get to the 20 pound mark. Which I had hoped to do by now, but hey, that’s just how it goes. I can safely tell you that as I come up on 3 full months on this diet, I have NEVER stayed with anything this long. South Beach, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do (as a carb addict) lasted about 2 months, I think. Yes, I did lose some weight, and I learned a lot about carbs and what they do to your body, but I gained it all back because there was no way I could go without carbs. I’m not wired that way. I’m pretty sure I could give up meat and veggies if you told me that I could live completely on carbs. Sign me up for the bread and butter diet. I’m THERE.

Anyway, I’ll probably check in periodically when I hit milestones, but otherwise, I’ll try not to bore you with things like the discovery that half (one section) of a Take 5 candy bar is only 100 calories. (Fear of boring you is why I’m not going to talk to you about my diet.) You holier than thou people who are horrified of someone eating a candy bar on a diet should move along right now, because once a month, if I can’t have a little something candy-bar-ish, I start writing a hit list. And getting that out of my system with 100 calories of a candy bar (or 4 Hershey Kisses with almonds, for 25 calories each) keeps me ON the diet. There’s no “I blew it so I should just forget the whole thing” because the calories are measured cumulatively over the course of a week. If I go over my daily budget on Tuesday, I have Wednesday through Sunday to be under that number of calories. A daily budget of 1600 calories is actually a weekly budget of 11200 divided by 7. Get it?

So anyway, because I’m actually being successful with this simple little tool, and because I want to share the love, as some of my friends did with me, I highly recommend LoseIt! Now I have to go add coffee and peanut butter english muffin to my log. I’m saving some calories for a light beer tonight. Living the dream, kids!

If only there were a free wealth-gaining app called “Find It!” I would be writing this to you from my own private island. Someone get to work on that.


Why You Should Always Carry a Camera

You never know when you’ll spot something worth photographing. Or maybe you’ll need to use the camera as a weapon to fight off wolverines. But I think it was be better to use it to take photos.

I had to go pick up my son at his friend’s, and passed this view.

Barn on the First Day of Spring


To Serve and Protect

It’s a lovely day. Lots of rain. Not much going on. The dog is armed, and dangerous. If you come in my back yard and are of the squirrel persuasion, you are dead meat, my friend.

Cockapoo Looking Out the Window


Broken Things

I keep accidentally breaking things. I thought that the conversation from Blogger to WordPress would keep a lot of the structures I had, but apparently trying to replicate the old site exactly so that Google might actually point to the right pages was a giant failure.

Given that my itty bitty tiny handful of daily traffic was attempting to go to a specific page, and the fact that those pages were moved or removed, I have been getting a massive FOUR or fewer hits per day. It makes it all the work I spent “fixing” things all worthwhile. Or not.

To celebrate, I’m going to eat cheese and Slim Jims for dinner. And no, there isn’t enough for all of us.


I Didn’t Order an iPad

I know there are people out there who assume I would be a pre-order kind of gal with this one, but I didn’t. For one thing, I just don’t have that kind of cash lying around the Mansion. I mean, moat maintenance isn’t cheap, people. And the psychic killer dolphins that live in the moat have to eat. And they eat a LOT. More than I expected when I went ahead and had them created in the lab. I think it would have been more cost-effective to go with something, let’s say, “traditional” but you know me. I’m not like that.

So you kids with your fancy big flat Apple products will just have to not gloat more than usual around me, as I try to decide if I should by one or put the helicoptor landing pad on the roof. These are important decisions that should not be taken lightly.


Good Gravy, Where Did Everyone Go?

The hits to my website since the big move have dropped off by about 90%. Maybe 95%. I have no idea why this is, other than the change and all my existing links probably being broken.  Or the fact that you’re all out having fun at the arcade with your rolls of quarters and cool sneakers. Jerks.

I suppose this means  I have to wait until Google re-indexes my entire site, I suppose. I’ll have to go see what I can do to force that, but I don’t think Google cares enough about little old me to make a huge effort on my behalf. I should probably hurry up and add back all the stuff that’s currently missing so that you can all come here to look for it.

So while I wait for everyone to find me, riddle me this, batman – on my iPhone, what do I have to do to make reading my gmail in safari stop automatically launching new windows when there’s a link to YouTube, or whathave you? It’s really disconcerting, if I’m reading email to suddenly have a video start playing when I don’t want it to. Okay, tech weenies, what say you?


Why I’ll Be Glad When Winter’s Over

My dog has hair, not fur, and snow clumps on him. Every time he goes out we have to towel him off. He goes out a LOT. as in, every time he sees a bird, squirrel, leaf…