One Bag Gone

In a quest to be more healthy, at least I think it’s more healthy, for the past months I’ve eliminated most white sugar. Yup, no products with white flour, no pasta, limited fruit, no cookies, no ice cream, and for the hell of it, no beer, and a lot of looking at ingredients on products and putting it back on the shelf wondering why it needed sugar in the first place. However, on this quest, I allow myself one cheat day, a day to eat as much, or as little, of anything I want. Usually cheat day is Saturday, usually there are cookies, usually there is ice cream, and almost always there is beer.

Snyder of Berlin Cheese CurlsThe challenge, however, is defining “cheat day.” Normally I stick with the definition that cheat day begins after waking  and ends when going to bed, the basic cycle of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but then, for our latest weekend, my wife suggested a 24 hour cheat day, starting at about 7PM. This definition came about mostly because she had a craving for some cheese, then a craving for chocolate, then my reminding her that we had special chocolate that was about to expire, and then some cheese curls, and not just any cheese curls, but the best cheese curls in the entire universe from Snyder of Berlin, delivered to me by my sister and brother in law on a recent visit.

Continue reading One Bag Gone

Maybe This is Why Your Child is Fat

I kind of remember the first time I saw a little baby being fed Cheerios. I believe it was in church. I found it kind of odd, but it did seem to keep the baby happy. At issue, though, in my head, was the baby was kind of chubby and the bag of Cheerios the mom had was about two servings of Cheerios. In my head I said, “Shouldn’t you at least scale down the amount you give the kid to be an appropriate serving?”

Oh well.

I don’t know why the Cheerios thing came to my head when I saw the girl, but there she was, yes, kind of chubby, and gnawing on a fast-food hash brown. I pegged her to be about three years old, a cute-enough kid, and found it odd, her gnawing on a hash-brown, or maybe more odd, that Mom was just about forcing it down her throat. I guess I’ll leave any preaching aside, but today just wonder: Would you feed fast-food hash browns to a three year old?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Should a Men’s Haircut Place Advertise Waxing and Pedicures?

Should a men's haircut place advertise waxing and pedicures?

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Driving down the road the other day, I regularly pass a men’s haircut place, and although it has changed names a few times, it always seems to stay a “men’s haircut” kind of place. I admit I’ve never been there. Now, I know recently there has been a larger push for men to be pampered when they get their haircuts with places like Sports Clips offering TV’s at every station, a little scalp massaging/shampoo, and a hot, steamed towel treatment to make you feel a little more manly. Ok, I admit it, I’ve been to a Sports Clip once, but skipped the massage and the steamed towel just seemed a little weird.

In any case, as I’m driving by this other place, I see a banner under their sign, and I was a little perplexed. Right there, under “Haircuts for Men” was a banner touting 20% off waxing and pedicures. Yes, I know some men get some waxing done, or at least Steve Carell did in “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” and I know some men will go and get a pedicure with their wives, kind of a “couples” thing to do, and maybe I’m a little crotchety as I get older, or maybe I’m wondering if men actually do it on their own, or I’m wondering if maybe I should start, but I’m wondering a lot in this post mostly because, I guess, I’m wondering if dudes are going out on their own, maybe not so much for the waxing as that seems like a more personal experience, a necessity even sometimes, but a pedicure?

Brad Paisley has a song, “I’m Just a Guy,” with the lyrics, “These days there’s dudes gettin’ facials, Manicured, waxed and bottomed,” so I’m guessing I would know Brad Paisley’s answer to this question, but I wonder: Should a men’s haircut place advertise waxing and pedicures?

That’s it for this one! I’m Andy!! L8R!!!

Are You a Toilet Roll Replacer?

Are You a Toilet Roll Replacer?

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So the other day I had to use the toilet, and sadly it was a #2 in a place that wasn’t home. It wasn’t horrible, I mean the bathroom there is clean, but for whatever reason pooping at locations other than home is always a little squirmy for me as I worry more about any noises and smells than germs for the most part because, well, many a study has been done that you aren’t picking up most horrible illnesses from the toilet, and you are more likely to catch something by shaking someone’s hand. For this trip the toilet roll was empty, but there, on the back of the toilet, was a roll of toilet paper, though not brand new, as you could tell someone had used it from its lack of still being “glued” together.

Me being me, I immediately grabbed the roll while sitting there, while pondering life, and replaced the empty toilet paper roll on the toilet paper holder. I then thought to myself two things. One was “Who is the lazy-ass who used the toilet paper and didn’t put the fresh roll on the holder?”, and two,”I guess I’m a toilet roll replacer.” The latter occurred to me as it also occurred to me there have been many a time when I’ve had to put the fresh roll, sitting right there on the toilet, on the holder, and I wonder: Are you a toilet roll replacer?

That’s it for this one! I’m Andy!! L8R!!!

Do You Own a George Foreman Grill?

So this morning, knowing our next two days were going to be hectic and not wanting to have to figure out dinner, that and the fact that I already thawed the chicken and didn’t want to throw it away, in lieu of my normal, morning routine, I decided to grill some chicken and make some spaghetti so that dinners will be ready when we get home. Being the morning, and it kind of raining and icky outside, I opted to slap the chicken on our George Foreman grill instead of using the outside grill. Don’t get me wrong, given the choice of an outdoor, charcoal grill, outdoor gar, or Foreman, the Foreman is at the bottom of the list, but it’s still pretty convenient, cooks quickly, and don’t forget about that “eliminate the fat” thing that supposedly makes grilling on the Foreman “healthier.”

Over the years I’ve had two versions of the grill. Originally I had the plain version, with permanently attached grilling plates, but hated it, mostly because it sucked to clean. Then a few years ago they came out with the “dominator,” or “ultimator,” or “George-erator” version complete with temperature controlled plates, a built-in timer, and much more important, plates you could remove and throw in the dishwasher. It was well worth the extra cost just for that removable plate thing.

With my dinner safely tucked in the refrigerator as I type this, I plight: Do you own a George Foreman grill?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dud

Eminem was Robbed, Bad Bowling, Movies and TV Shows, and the Drop and Give Me App Explained.

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

During this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast, we find out that Stu Gotz isn’t that good of a bowler, and he doesn’t know how to watch The Grammy Awards, either. As such, I have to give him the scoop on how Eminem was robbed, but I don’t do a great job at explaining Cee Lo Green to him. I do, however, give him a fantastic explanation of my latest iPhone app called “Drop and Give Me,” and he is actually impressed that I already able to do fifteen push-ups.

As far as explaining also goes, Stu does his best to sell “Just Go With It,” a movie both he and Mama Gotz enjoyed, while I do my best to warn Stu to watch “The King’s Speech” in a well-lit room. We find that Mama Gotz didn’t read my review of “When in Rome,” we both enjoyed the latest “30 Rock” and the fact that Jack Donaghy now has a Canadian baby, and neither of us can really figure out what “I Am Number Four” is about from the trailers.

All of that and more, and thanks for listening!

That’s it for this podcast! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Here Comes Normal Saving Time, The Elections or Over – Sort of, Gobble-Gobble, and I’m Working on Less

By: The Dude on the Right

Download and ListenDownload the Podcast!

I haven’t done a Thursday podcast in a long time, and with Stu M.I.A., or at least in the state where Miami is, and since I didn’t do a “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast on Monday, I figured I would do a Thursday podcast! Sure, I probably could have tried to get a hold of the W.G.N., or the M.F.N. for this one, or one of my newly in-lawed N.’s, but I’m flying solo.

In my solo-ness, back in the day, or even as soon as a couple of years ago, I would have been excited by the upcoming change from Daylight Saving Time back to Normal Saving Time, but with Milo the wonder-dog, I’m figuring the switch will just mean one more hour to get stuff done rather than the extra hour of sleep I would like.

I also give some election analysis, don’t really give a preview of the upcoming movies this weekend, namely “Megamind” and “Due Date,” only mention them in passing and my hoping to see “Due Date” with My BFF, a.k.a. my wife, and did you realize that Thanksgiving is only in three weeks?

Finally, thanks to a book called “The Power of Less,” I’m on working on being a little less, complete with 15 minutes on my exercise bike, everyday, during November, and so far I’m four days in, with 26 more to go!

Thanks for listening! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

I Don’t Have Too Many Eggs (I think), I Just Lost My Basket!

By: The Dude on the Right

As Stu Gotz couldn’t meet up with me today to do a podcast, rather than do a solo episode I decided to hold off the podcast for a day, especially since I know Stu is dying to find out how my bachelor party weekend went since he couldn’t make the trip to New Jersey.  So, that discussion will hit tomorrow. Instead I decided this might be a great time to do a blog – something I haven’t done for this site in quite some time.

Now I mention “this site,” because as I had some time away over the weekend, and have blogged on some other sites I have recently and neglecting this one, and as I’ve been pondering this for quite a while now, I started to look at all of the things I’ve got going, especially since I started developing iPhone apps, and I suppose getting married, and I guess having four Twitter accounts, and then there is my weight loss blog, and, okay…

So, yup, I’ve got a lot of things going on, and I tried to reflect on them.  I said to myself, “Self, why don’t you prioritize them and knock off a couple to free up some time/space in your mind?” I started to look at some of the projects I’ve got active (on life support in some cases), seeing if I really wanted to axe any of them, and I ended up with the following priority list, rating each thing individually on a scale of 1 to 10 in general importance to me/I love doing it/I miss doing it/I want to do more of it/and general 1 to 10-ness, with 1 being high and 10 being low.

  • My Wedding: Um, it’s a 1, duh.
  • My life with my BFF: 1
  • Other hobbies/things around the house/projects: 1

Yes, seriously, as I looked at my list, and there are a few things missing from the above list, there isn’t one of them that I don’t love doing, don’t get jazzed about when I do get around to working on, and yes, I agree, in actuality all of them should have a “2” next to them and “My life with my BFF” is actually the only “1,” but hey, I think even she understands.

The thing is, as I looked at this list, I pondered the idea of consolidating.  For example, do I really need four Twitter accounts? My contemplation on this is simply would my Twitter followers under whenismile actually care about the tweets that would be appropriate for drewdude, and would my general tweeting in dudeonright really be what those in myweightplan would want to read?  And then there is the fact that, right now, whenismile is a little more private, at least from some friends and family, so I can tweet things there without worrying about what they might say.  In fact, I’ve almost been confused about tweeting sometimes wondering which account to put it under, and if I posted the same tweet under all four accounts, thinking all of my followers would like to read it, and someone followed all four accounts, would they be pissed at getting the same tweet pretty much four times?

Then there are the blogs I have.  Yup, would Entertainment Ave!-land actually care that I have a blog about my attempt at losing weight?  When I Smile, which is geared towards things about my “Make Me Smile” app, really doesn’t seem to be the right place for Stu Gotz and our podcasts every now and then.  And I could go on an on.

I guess my pondering really centers about “To consolidate, or not to consolidate – That is the question!”  And if so, what is the best way to go about it?  Sure, I could leave everything under my Webventure Avenue company moniker, but that doesn’t seem to be right.  I’ve had Entertainment Ave! for over 15 years and hate to put that by the wayside.  I suppose Mostly Entertainment could get wrapped into the Entertainment Ave! site, but should it be separate?  Ugh!

I guess I need to let these thoughts bounce around in my head a little more, since, in coming to a final conclusion, if the answer is to “consolidate” then that creates another issue – total site-redesigns of everything I have to get them under one umbrella, or at least in one basket.  And even if I don’t consolidate, maybe I should actually use some of my organization skills/software/thoughts, to put things into little blocks, workable blocks, so that each project is it’s own little world, yet gets some attention every day, with the most, of course, being my BFF.

At least my wedding will be able to be taken off this list in two months – when the “I do”’s have been said, but I’m sure when that egg has been hatched I’m going to just lay another one – I just hope I can get that one to land in the basket I haven’t found yet.

And sure, if you’ve got any answers for the question “To consolidate or not to consolidate!”, I would love to hear them!

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Holy Crap, I Made an iPhone App!

I so wanted my first post announcing my first iPhone app to be filled with gloriousness, with “Hey, go out and get it!”, with “Let me know what you think!”, with “Sure, I know it’s $.99 and you want it for free, but hey, I do have plans for a limited, free version with ads someday, but really, will an ad above a picture that makes you smile really make you smile?”, and “I have lots of ideas for future versions, but if there are any suggestions you have please throw them my way!”, and all kinds of other fun comments like that, but then I downloaded my app when it was officially approved on Monday.

Low and behold, a little bug that I thought I fixed somehow re-appeared. The thing is that it was a bug that might make you frown and not smile, especially if the first “Make Me Smile” picture you took using the app was priceless, because, well, there was a glitch where the app wouldn’t save the first picture it took. All other pictures would be saved to your library, but not that first one. So instead of a joyous “Holy crap, I made an iPhone app,” all of a sudden I was just saying “Oh, crap.” And made my previous post on the When I Smile site.

But alas, I plugged away at truly eliminating the bug (Please, please, please don’t be there anymore!), and Version 1.1 of “Make Me Smile” is available for download in the app store, and it only has one goal: To be able to, when you need one, make you smile.

Yes, I do have a lot more features in my head planned for the app, and heck, I have other ideas for apps floating in my head, even one for the Entertainment Ave! website, but for now, please feel free to visit the When I Smile site, spend the $.99 for the app, and thanks for your support, suggestions, and smiles!

Where Did My Morning Go?


The Dude on the Right

For the life of me I was having a hard time figuring out why I didn’t have time to exercise in the morning. There I was, waking up around 4:30 (and sure, hitting the snooze pushed things closer to 5AM), but by the time I was trying to get out the door at 7:00 to head to morning meetings, well, I was rushing.  What in the hell was I doing for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and why in the hell wasn’t part of it being spent on my exercise bike? Something was going on, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and then it occurred to me, even as I thought I was trimming things down:

Facebook, and more specifically Facebook applications, have destroyed my morning productivity.

I thought I had it licked when I was going to switch from Mafia Wars to Café World but it was yesterday, when I started trying to analyze my morning schedule, and as I sat there "training" my virtual fish in my Happy Aquarium, checking on my café, and still trying to take over the Moscow Mafia, that a bell went off over my head, sort of, and it simply rang out "What are you doing?"  So this morning, being the dorky engineer I can be, I started my morning as I normally have been, up and at ’em at 4:45, into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, making my Count Chocula with chocolate milk, and heading to my computer bunker that isn’t really a bunker anymore, to see what was happening in the world.  I fired up Firefox on the main monitor, opening a list of tabs to places like the Chicago Sun Times, The Drudge Report, The Weather Channel, Google Reader, and The Lorain Journal, just getting myself ready to rediscover the world after a night of broken sleep (broken sleep and the urge to drop-kick a dog out the window will be a topic for another blog), and on my secondary monitor, another Firefox window was opened, this time to my Facebook page.  I scanned the world, not really paying as much attention to things as I used to (something my fiance made me realize the other day), and quickly shifted my focus to my Facebook world, or should I say worlds, because after not coming up with anything witty for my status and seeing that my friends haven’t done much in the past six hours, I pulled out the stopwatch on my iPhone to do a statistical analysis of part of my morning.

And so, I headed to…

  • "Café World" – I didn’t do anything crazy, and by crazy I mean I didn’t send any of my neighbors any gifts, visit any of their cafés, nor do any redecorating (which I could, because I have 200,000 café coins to spend), instead I’m concentrating on serving my pot roast and then cooking up some voodoo chicken salad.

That wasn’t so bad, but other work needed to be done so I’m off to my:

  • "Happy Aquarium" – Here I start by sending the gift of fish food to my aquarium neighbors.  Damn, I’m a good neighbor! Of course my fish tank has gotten dirty overnight so I scrub it clean, and then my fish are hungry so it’s time for their morning feeding, but as I’m also trying to make my fish smarter, what the heck, let’s train a couple of them! Sadly I can’t get one fish (I’m not sure which one it was, mostly because I have eleven different fish, all with different names) through the training program, but another made it safely through, so he, or maybe she, can now do some kind of special trick.  Not done yet, I’m feeling helpful and greedy so I visit my seven neighbors’ tanks, do some cleaning at each of them, and click on the various treasure chests to get myself some more coin!

But my coup de gras awaits, the game that has taken what must amount to months in lost productivity – I’m off to Moscow in:

  • "Mafia Wars" – Yup, I head to New York City to bank some money from my properties, and I now have over $110,000,000,000 in fake, United States currency.  But I’ve built my mafia over the months, and Cuba needs me, or at least my businesses in Cuba need me, so it’s time to sell off a bunch of product and bank my money there as I eclipse the C$11,000,000 Cuban peso mark!  But as my Mafia domination is growing, well, I’m off to Moscow.  I easily level up to 351 with the energy I’ve acquired while I slept, so I’m eager to spend my new, 2,190 units of energy doing something, although I’m not really sure what, even though there is some sort of story going on, but there I am, clicking my mouse insistently to earn more cash, finish the job, and move on, but my energy level is now too low to continue! Oh no!  Ahh, but no, I’m not done! Thankfully my sister sent me an energy pack so I recharge, it’s time for another energy drain, I’m up another level, and I quickly scan that I’m going to need about R$40,000,000 rubles to get the items necessary so I can work on the next job in Episode 4.  Not being able to continue with any jobs for now, and since I got an energy pack from my sister, I decided I should return the favor so I click on my giant mafia of 34 members and send energy packs to those people that I know are still playing the game.

With the breakfast hours slipping away I’m done with my café, my fish tank is clean, I’ve blackmailed a secretary in Moscow, but I notice, in the upper right corner of my Facebook main page, that I’ve got gifts to receive. I click and there they are, lots of little goodies from my friends, so what the hell, it’s a click here and new screen there, an "Accept more gifts" click here, another screen there, and REQUEST/GIFT TIME ELAPSED: 4 MINUTES.

I looked at my stopwatch realizing that this morning, in just "maintaining" and "advancing" in three Facebook games, I wasted nearly 30 minutes.

Now, mind you, I didn’t do any bowling with my buddies, happily I stopped playing Pirates of the Caribbean although I haven’t deleted the app yet,  in Farm Town I have set up my farm with a lovely message for my BFF, a message that as long as my farming neighbors "water" it looks great so I don’t have to do anything, my Roller Coaster Kingdom is stalled, and I haven’t tried to increase my word vocabulary, but just heading to one of those would have meant being late for my first appointment this morning.

I wondered where my time went in the morning, and now I found out.  The question now is what to do about it because people are hungry and my Voodoo Chicken Salad is almost ready to be served, my "fish" are hungry and I really would feel bad if I "flushed" them down the toilet, and after investing so much time, "money," and building a reputation as a mafia kingpin, well, I really hate to rat people out and go into witness protection.  Then there is the feeling that I’m going to let all of my "neighbors" down if I can’t be, well, their neighbor. In the end, I guess my exercising might just have to wait, although if someone were to make an "Exercise World" for Facebook, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!   L8R!!!