TEN pounds gained in 2 weeks!

That’s how much weight I put on while visiting the States for just 2 weeks.

Yes, granted, I did suck down as much iced tea, IBC & A&W as possible, plus a bottle or two of Mountain Dew…plus BBQ and Mexican food nearly every day…plus…lots of fried stuff…but I still can’t believe I put on about 4 kilos of weight while I was away.

I’m not (that) ashamed: I weighed myself on my digital scale before we left (we had to weigh our luggage), and I was 98 kilos the night before. Weighed myself a couple of days after we came back, and I was (gasp) 102! Crikey…and to think my weight goal for last year was, like, 90kg? man oh man…

So (and I planned to do this already, before we left) I’ve started cycling in to work, this week I’ll be doing it 4 days, next week either 3 or 4 days. That’s about 32 miles round trip, for 96 or 128 miles a week, about what a serious road cyclist does in training every week. (more serious racers might do a ‘century’, or a hundred miles on a Saturday, but I’m not at that level by a long shot) I just read on a UK cycling forum today about a guy who started cycling to work at the start of April, about the distance I do, and he’s lost half a stone already, probably more than that in fat because he’s built up his leg muscles.

I think this is the only way I can stick to an exercise program – outrageously high petrol prices! By the end of the summer petrol will be at, like £1.60/liter (it’s £1.11 and rising per liter, that’s $8.31 per US gallon!)and I’ll be dropping weight off like there’s no tomorrow (hopefully). Hell, it’s even meant to rain tomorrow or Friday, and I’ll still be cycling in! Costs me £5 a day to drive to work…you betcha!

GO Spurs!

(San Antonio Spurs, the basketball team, not the Tottenham Hotspurs)

Yes! Coming back from a 2-0 deficit never been done? Well, it has now!

I had the good fortune to watch a couple of Spurs games (not live, unfortunately) while I was visiting my mom, and I was a bit worried but optimistic about them being able to make it past the Hornets (which, apparently, had moved to New Orleans at some point in the last 4 years). The Hornets looked good when I watched, but not quite good enough to make it to the final four.

Anyway, last night was the final game of the series and I wasn’t able to find it on the UK TV schedule anywhere, but I read today on Salon.com that they’d come back and won the series in the final game in front of a New Orleans crowd.

I feel for anyone in New Orleans trying to rebuild their lives after Katrina, but hey – you guys were up against the Spurs! There wasn’t much of a chance, really 🙂

Off to the States tomorrow…

…and hell yeah I’m going to do a lot of shopping! If you’re paid in British Pounds, you’d be quite remiss to NOT buy loads of things you want from the US if you’re visiting.

One of the places I might go (might) is Wal-Mart.

Now, I don’t like their business practices, reputation, etc., just like other left-leaning liberal schmucks like myself, but damn if they don’t have some cheap prices on stuff. One of the things I want to get is a Nintendo DS Lite, and I’ll probably get it at either Wal-Mart or Best Buy, it’s just unavoidable. I don’t have time to scour for a decent deal in small game shops, so I want to go to one place where I can get my electronics fix (might look for a new MP3 player too – but not an iPod – and maybe some computer bits), and it’s one of these two places basically.

I came across a funny animation done to a Henry Rollins stand-up bit about Wal-Mart, check it out here. It’s so true, so sad, and if I find any of those shirts there I’m going to have to take me some pictures!

Some people are just too paranoid to live

You know those people that have to wipe everything clean, lest they become infested with germs and bacteria? The kind of people that have to anti-bacterialize every freakin’ thing they touch, smell, see and own? Well now they have a new weapon to stave off those horrible, horrible beasts that you can’t even see with the naked eye: TT Packs!

Yes, TT Packs (or, Travel Toiletry Packs) contain everything you need to combat germs and filth at those awful rest stops, gas station toilets and public lavatories that you must come in contact with. With not just a toilet seat cover but also a wipe just for the toilet seat, another wipe for your hand, a glove for your hand, a patch of toilet paper and even a paper towel for drying your hand after wiping with the hand wipe…you can be sure your body will be free of all the horrible filth you might otherwise come in contact with.

Oh, except for the billions of bacteria in your digestive system, the viruses and germs your white blood cells are killing inside your body every second of the day, and don’t forget the slimy grunge that your kids have smeared all over your car when you get back in.

Please…seriously, people. Get a damn clue. Public toilet seats are cleaner than most people’s kitchen counter tops. Shaking hands with someone or buckling your kid in at the gas station will just put all those nasty germs right back on you. I shouldn’t even put the link to the stupid website in this post, but I had to, just in case anyone thought this was some lame joke. Yes, paranoid Middle Americans are buying this shit. Can you believe it?

You could do better by carrying your own roll of toilet paper into the restroom and having some anti-bac gel in the car. Or bring a small pump spray bottle of vinegar water and lemon juice to kill whatever’s on the seat and on your butt, even though that won’t matter once you’ve touched the door to get out, because most people don’t wash their damn hands anyway.

(of course people with immune system problems need to worry about getting germs and whatnot on themselves, I’m not talking about them – I’m talking about otherwise healthy people who are just freaked out far too much about touching everyday objects that are no threat to them)

Well…I’m off!

I won’t be updating much, if at all, the next couple of weeks, as my mother is visiting from Texas and I’ll be taking to London once again and around Ireland. A nice, long, very expensive holiday!

So have a nice one, and be excellent to each other.

The bottled water scam/silliness

I’ve been wary of bottled water for a long time – not only is normal tap water just as good and safe, the bottles aren’t always recycled and companies make a killing on bottled water. It costs as much or more than gasoline/petrol in most places!

Here’s an article summarizing all the reasons NOT to drink bottled water. Seems like it’s slowly hitting home.

Folks, really: just buy a home water filter pitcher and enjoy great-tasting water for really, really cheap.