Saturday, July 31, 2004

Fat Facts

I got my hair cut and colored this morning, and as the most recent issue of National Geographic was the only magazine not specifically marketed for seventeen year old girls or people who are so obsessed with hair that they need to read an entire magazine devoted to haircuts that no human would willingly sport were they not under contract or getting paid to do so, I flipped through the pages of it (Worst. Sentance. Ever).

I came across an article, The Heavy Cost of Fat. It made some good points about health and excercise, and how America got to be so big (it basically boils down to not what we eat, or how much we excercise, but the fact that we eat 220 pounds more food per year than we did in the 1970's, or at least that's what they're claiming). More interesting, however, was the neat little Body Mass Index chart that they had on one of the pages (it's not in the online version, but here's a BMI Calculator that they link to at the bottom of the page, and it uses the same formula the grid in the magazine uses).

Now, keep in mind that the article states that 1 in every 3 Americans is overweight. I found that number a bit staggering, not because it might necessarily be true, but because I can look up and down my street and see a lot of people who look pretty darn average to me. Sure, we could all stand to lose a few pounds (or 20 in my case), but I would say that the 1 in 3 thing would be more like 1 in 6 or 1 in 8 maybe. Sure, it's anecdotal evidence, but let's look at the BMI Calculator for a second.

I input my height (5' 11"), and my weight (I think I'm about 215 lbs right now), and got a BMI of 30. 30 is the cutoff for obese, and while the cutoff is a bit fuzzy, I'd hardly call myself obese. Since when did losing 20 lbs to get back to a "normal" weight qualify as obese? So I decided to see if this thing thought 200 lbs for a guy who's practically six foot tall would be "normal."

Nope. That still falls in the "overweight" category, by a good three points. To get to a weight that would define the edge of normal and overweight, it tells me I would have to weigh 178 lbs. Folks, I haven't weighed below 180 since high school, when I had nearly zero percent body fat, and please keep in mind that this is borderline overweight for this chart.

So of course I decided to push it even further, and see what the bottom rung for normal (pushing the "underweight" limit) was. Turns out I'd have to weigh in at 132 lbs for this thing to consider me too skinny. I wouldn't even be alive at that point, but at least it would have caught that I might be in need of a sandwich or at least some intravenous glucose.

I'm not sure if it's in the online article or not, but they posted what Dr. Atkins height and weight were at just 2 months before he died: 6 foot 198 lbs. So basically, the father of the modern weight loss solution (no really, click the link for visual reference to his fat assed picture) was overweight (BMI of 26.9) just before his accidental death. (I'm hoping the irony here is thick enough to coat your eyeballs).

I know I'm rambling on and on here about the obvious obsurdity of this calculator, but what I'm getting at is that if you want people to stop having eating disorders, or binge eating, or start excercising more, maybe what we need more of are some realistic data points before we go stating that "1 in 3 Americans are overweight." If this is what we're using to say that Americans are too fat in general, I think there's a larger problem than people eating too many burgers.

Shit, according to this scale, Callista Flockhart is probably overweight.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Not Wind, Like a Watch,

But Wind, like the air.

Here's your comic book/Presidential race crossover for the week. I may have stumbled onto a case of truth being more terrifying than fiction. In the book Elektra Assassin, we're in a similar state (politically) that we are now: The President is an unlikeable Republican "kicking ass" in a war against America's enemies (at the time, Russia), and the Democratic candidate, Ken Wind, is a smiling, hippie era ("He was there at Kent State...") feelgood peacenik.

Only that it turns out that Ken Wind is possessed and controlled by the devil himself.

So what I want to know is, why does John Edwards look just like Ken Wind?

Satan Incarnate? John Kerry?

I'm just saying.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Ignorance is the Best Contraceptive

Hey, it turns out if teenagers just respect themselves, they won't get pregnant! And to think all that time in school we were using condoms! The money we could have saved if we just respected each other!

Also, if you get plenty of rest, you won't catch any STDs, either! I swear, medical science is amazing these days.

And yes, we've already decided that we're homeschooling Riley.



Wednesday, July 21, 2004


It has been noted elsewhere that I have been utterly remiss in my duties of providing baby anecdotes and pictures, and for that I apologize. Please, look at the new baby pictures.

I don't have much to say about Riley (the baby) because she's mainly just cute as a button, and doesn't do much (when I see her for my 2.5 hours per day when I'm home on weekdays and she's awake) other than smile at me (which I LOVE), eat, or fuss, or occassionally burp or fart (which I also love in a different fashion). Even the trip to the Brookfield Zoo was entirely uneventful, as she slept almost the whole time, and even if she was awake, it's not like she did anything she doesn't do normally, which is pretty much just look cute and gaze at stuff that's about 8-13 feet away from her. In fact, the photos we took there are downright laughable, as they look like photos anywhere else. We even took one of her sleeping in front of the giant fountain there so we could somehow prove it was taken at the zoo.

In fact, the only thing she's doing now which is really entertaining to us is:

A). Smiling at the ceiling fan (damnit! Those smiles belong to us! Stupid ceiling fan! ::tears down all ceiling fans in the house::)
B). Smiles and kicks while watching the Baby Bach (Baby Einstein) video Liz bought her. She also likes being shown brightly colored animal flashcards. So much so that she excitedly kicked the book out of Liz's hand two days ago.

However, in the interest of sharing anecdotes, we have come up with some clever nicknames for her. Solomon Grunty was by far my favorite, as she used to grunt all the time. It was her primary method of communication. Baby No Face is an old classic, one that we return to, but you kinda need to know who No Face is (scroll down a bit) to get the reference. Think Monty Burns (his "uhhhhhs"), but in a cloak and wearing a mask. The Riley Express is her new one, as she will occassionally in her sleep do a "Woooo-wooo" noise, and make us laugh. Kicky was the original nickname, but that one was for her in utero activities. Smoochy is another one, not because we love kissing her (because we do, and can't possibly stop even if we wanted to), but because when she's starting a bottle there's usually a lot of "smooching" noise when she's trying to smack down on that nipple. Fussy Boots is one, but that one hardly needs explaining. Then there's Munchy and BOTTOMLESS PIT, but those require even less explanation.

We do have one extra-special nickname for her that we won't share publically, not because we're embarrassed about it (we say it when friends or family are around, or hell, even if we're at the store), but because it's ours. I'll give you a hint, though. It's in a Pixar movie.

That should narrow it down a bit.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Unlost Weight  

Did a little shopping at the Nautica Factory Store in our new Chicago Premium Outlets mall by the house, and what do you know, they've decided to change the sizing labels.  

Again.  For the first time since I was sixteen years old, I now fit into what they're terming a "Large."  I grabbed the Extra Larges off the rack, and Liz immediately said "those aren't XLs, those are at least Double XLs."  

I'm all "No, honey, look right here at the tag.  It says XL," and try them on.  I'm in the changing room, looking at myself, and thinking, "where have I seen this look before."  Oh, that's right.  On fat rappers.  A t-shirt fit like a mumu.  While I'm a little excited that I now fit into a "large," I would have at least liked to have earned it.  Now when I lose this weight, am I going to be wearing a Medium?  Since when would a guy who's practically six feet tall and weighs 190 lbs be a Medium???  

I'm getting a little tired of the industry doing this.  One could argue that yes, Americans are getting larger, and therefore the definition of "large" needs to be retooled.  On one hand, we're getting fatter, certainly, but on the other hand, bovine growth hormone has caused Americans to grow taller than we've been in any previous generation.  However, when I wear a size "36" pants, and one brand's 36 is falling off of my hips (literally), and another brand feels like I'm trying to squeeze into pants from the children's wear department, I think it's time to re-set the system.  Shouldn't a measurement that's meant to be in inches be accurate from one brand to the next?  

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Thanks for Nothing

Hey everyone, it appears that Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo are going to play nice and merge all three IM chat clients into one package.

But wait, there's more! For free users, they still won't allow you to inter-communicate between the three IM chat clients. That's right, you have to be a paying member. Granted, that's their right as a stupid conglomerate of mega-corps.

So, this means that the rest of us will just keep having to use Trillian to have conversations with both our ICQ friends and our AIM friends (and MSN and YahooIM) at the same time. For free.

Like we have been for the past few years.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Too Tired For Words

As it's of no relative interest to any of you that I played golf twice this weekend with my Dad and scored my all time record best of a 103 (without cheating!), I'm going to instead refer you to the greatest commercials ever made:

Meet Mister Six.

I'm going to go as him for Halloween if it kills me.

And yes, I can do ALL the dance moves.

And no, I'm not responsible if you're singing that song in your head all day long.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Sketch of the Day

For all of you who missed my almost never updated SotD blog, have a look at some art I just did.

It's not so much a sketch as it is something I drew and colored in Photoshop. And no, before you ask, it's not a member of Insane Clown Posse. It's my Star Wars Galaxies character.

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