Goals for 2014

29 12 2013

I’m not typically one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do have some things I want to accomplish this year, that I’m going to throw out there for accountability purposes:

  • Weigh less than 210 by the end of the year. Possibly 200.
  • Be able to carry on basic conversations in Spanish
  • Be able to surf
  • Brew a drinkable batch of beer
  • Develop more of a social life

Back, Maybe?

20 09 2013

I’m feeling somewhat motivated to start blogging again. Not that anyone will notice.

A lot has happened in the past three years. I married Amy at the end of 2011, and she moved to California. We now live in Encinitas. I also found my birth family last year, and they are amazing! Sadly, I also experienced the death of both of my adopted brothers. I’m probably going to post a bit more about those things soon, but in general, my posts going forward will be less of a personal nature, and instead focus on fitness and the occasional political rant.

Speaking of fitness, after reaching a low weight of 197 about 3 years ago, I started gaining it back. By the time I got married, I was up to 225, and by the beginning of this year, I was up to 253. This was all pretty much due to me falling off the wagon, both with diet and exercise. Since the start of the year, I’ve been weight training pretty consistently, despite a nagging shoulder injury (tendinosis and impingement), and my diet has been more on than off. I currently weigh 234. My goal is to get down to 215 by the end of the year. I’m pretty motivated to get stronger and lose some fat.

Weightlifting goals

18 09 2013

Here are my short and longer term weightlifting goals, relative to my body weight. I hope to reach the short term ones by the end of this year, and the long term ones sometime next year. The plan is to do this both through increasing my strength and dropping some fat.

Short Long
Squat 1.5 x BW 2 x BW
Deadlift 2 x BW 2.5 x BW
Bench 1 x BW 1.5 x BW
Overhead .75 x BW 1 x BW

A couple weeks of milestones

24 09 2010

The last couple of weeks have seen some significant milestones.

On September 13th, my kids moved to Italy with their mother. Perhaps “moved” isn’t the best word for it, because it’s a temporary thing; they’ll be back in 3 months. I’m excited for them to experience this adventure, but I miss them. Their internet access is sporadic, so I can’t talk to them very often. I AM going to see them in a few days, so that will be good.

September 16th marked a year since my first date with Amy. I still remember it vividly, especially the nervous excitement I felt. I already knew I liked her from the conversations we’d had, and the first time I met her in person, there was an immediate attraction. We spent several days together, going to a Weezer/Blink 182 concert, the Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld, the beach. I was so unhappy when she had to return to Utah, not knowing what the future would hold due to the distance, but I knew that I wanted to spend more time with her. Since then, it has been an amazing ride. I still feel the same nervous excitement when I’m about to see her, and the same sadness when it’s time to part. She made the last year the best in my life so far, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us.

The 20th marked the date that my divorce from Melissa became official. There was no particular sadness associated with it. We first decided to get divorced nearly a year and a half ago, and I moved out more than a year ago, so I had processed it, and we’ve both moved on (obviously). We chatted briefly when she was at my place with the kids, and we both acknowledged regret at the things that went wrong, but we’re both happy now and wish the best for each other. Looking back, I was definitely unhappy, but the good times stick with me more than the bad. I’m especially thankful for the 5 fabulous kids we had together, and my only significant regret in all of this is that I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like now.

Finally, today, after what seems like ages, I broke the 200 pound barrier. I don’t remember for sure the last time I weighed less than 200 pounds, but the most recent it could have possibly been was in 1994, which was my first year of marriage. I had initially hoped to break this barrier on September 1st, and I got within a couple of pounds of that, but a trip to Seattle and 10 days with my kids derailed me a little bit.

So what’s next? I knew that at 200 pounds I’d still have a little fat around my middle, and I do. My best guess is that to get as lean as I’d like to be, I’ve got another 10-15 pounds to go. Possibly more. Part of me wants to focus on building muscle for a little while, but I’m pretty sure that if I do that right now, I’ll gain a lot of fat at the same. So for now, I think I’m going to continue to focus on losing fat, but a bit less aggressively than what I’ve been doing. I’m going to just continue to eat healthy, be active, and weight train without a specific goal until the beginning of November. Then I’ll see where I’m at and set my next goal. Ideally, I’d like to finish losing before the holidays, so I can use them to start my bulking cycle 🙂

Weight: 199.5
BF%: 22

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31

A little help from my friends…

21 04 2010

As many of you probably know, for the past 7+ months I’ve been dating Amy, a truly amazing woman who happens to live in Logan, Utah, where I grew up. I spent quite a bit of time with her over the holidays, including taking my kids to meet her for the first time. A week after I returned to California, Amy came home to a nightmare: her basement was filled with a foot of water, and was continuing to fill. As she describes herself on her blog, after spending a few minutes trying to take care of it herself, and nearly freezing in the process, she realized she needed help and called a local company specializing in that kind of thing. They were soon on the scene, and after assuring her that her homeowners insurance would cover everything, they proceeded to move everything out of her basement, pump out the water, pull up the carpet, and remove all of the baseboards and the bottom two feet of drywall.

A few days later the insurance adjuster shows up and informs her that, due to the flood being from the bursting of an outside pipe that was not properly winterized, they weren’t going to cover the damages. At all.

Amy is a single mother of two just struggling to get by in this economy. Her ex-husband hasn’t paid her a penny of child support in more than a year. Just coming up with the money to pay the recovery company is a challenge. Paying someone to restore her basement is out of the question. And so, 4 months later, the basement is still mostly empty, with gaping holes in the bottom of all of the walls. Because the bedrooms for her two boys were in the basement, and are currently unusable, every night they sleep on Amy’s floor.

This summer, when I visit Amy in Logan, I’m going to take a crack at putting her basement back together. The drywall needs to be replaced, the carpet needs to have the pad replaced, and the walls need to be painted. I’ve done plenty of painting, but I’ve never done much with drywall or carpet.

What I’m hoping is that I have friends and family in Logan that can help out. If there are enough of them, maybe we can even get it over with quickly.

I’ll be in Logan next from May 6th to May 9th. If you’re reading this, and know something about hanging drywall or laying carpet (or even if you don’t!) and would be willing to help out, let me know by posting here or by sending me an email myopicrhino@gmail.com. If you want to help but can’t make it then, I’ll be back again regularly, so let me know anyway. Thanks in advance to anyone who volunteers, and if you don’t, well, I love you anyway!


I’ve had a great response. Thanks to those who did! I’ve had a few people say they couldn’t help out in person but they offered to donate, so I set up a Paypal fund to do that. Anything I receive will go to purchase drywall, paint, etc., to complete the project. Thanks again to everyone!

Update #2!

Looks like we’re going to do this Saturday May 8th starting about 10 am. I’ll get in touch directly with everyone who responded, but if you’d like to join us, just let me know!

Car woes

26 01 2010

I’ve been having problems with my Mini Cooper lately. It actually started last summer. While driving, typically while idling or at low speed, the electrical systems would just kind of… hiccup. The lights, radio, indicator, etc., would momentarily turn off, the needles on my gauges would all dip into negative territory, and the power steering would get tight. The car wouldn’t stop running, though, and within a second or two, everything would return to normal. Occasionally, the hiccup would seem a little harder than normal, and this would cause the clock and trip counter to reset.

Once, I went to start the car, and everything lit up and then it went completely dead. I tried jump starting it to no avail. I took the battery out, assuming it had gone bad, but its indicator showed that it was still healthy. I put it back in, and magically, the Cooper started again.

These problems have continued intermittently since then. Recently, the power steering started randomly going out while driving. Turning the car off, removing the key, and then starting it again would fix this problem. Occasionally , when turning off the car, all of the electrical systems would go dead again, but always, within a few minutes at most, it would suddenly start working again. Always, that is, until last night.

When I got home from work, I shut off the car, and I could immediately tell that it had died. I tried restarting it again, but nothing happened. “Fine, I’ve seen this before, I’ll come back out in a little bit, and it’ll start.” A half hour later, I tried and… fail. Another half hour, an hour, a couple of hours… fail, fail, fail. At that point, I started to think that in the morning, I’d be calling a tow truck to have it taken to the dealer, but that maybe I’d get lucky and that after a good night of sleep, it’d start working again.

At this point, I should probably explain my aversion to just taking the sumbitch in and having it fixed. First of all, it’s long out of warranty, so I’ll be paying for it out of pocket. Second of all, I’m doubtful that anyone other than the dealer is going to be able to figure out what is wrong with my cooper, and the dealer, besides being freaking expensive, as you’d expect, is also highly incompetent.

So I get up this morning, optimistic that it’s going to work, and walk out to my garage. I use the key fob to try to unlock the car remotely, and nothing happens. Not good. I get in and try to start it, and once again… fail. Still not wanting to take it in to the dealer, it occurs to me that when this happened the first time, maybe disconnecting and reconnecting the battery caused the system to reset somehow, so I decided to try that again.

First problem: the battery is in the boot, which is unlocked via the fob. I don’t know of any other way to open the boot. But since that’s where the battery lives, surely there must be a way to open the boot when your battery is dead, right? So I climb into the back seat, start reaching around in the boot, and find a ring. I pull it, and the boot opens.

Second problem: disconnecting the battery requires a wrench, and all I have is a screwdriver. All of my wrenches are still at the house. I try just twisting the terminal connectors off, but they are on there good and tight. As I start to think about how far I’m going to have to walk to get to a hardware store, I notice the jack kit. Unfortunately, it didn’t contain a wrench, but when I put it back, I noticed a small foam container next to the battery. I pulled it out, opened it, and sure enough there are several tools, including a wrench of just the right size! So I get busy loosening the terminal connectors, but just then, I happen to look up and notice that my dome light is on.

Really? That’s all it took?

Turns out, yes. I got in, tried to start the car, and… success!

I’m not mechanically inclined at all. I really have no idea why just messing with the battery a little fixed my problem, but it did, and for now at least, my date with the dealer has been postponed.

Giving thanks

27 11 2009

This is a day late, but inspired by my favorite person in the world, I thought it’d be appropriate to mention some of the things I’m thankful for.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for my children, Rebi, Evan, Ellie, Ty, and Nate. I’m so very proud of all of them. As they get older, they continually impress me in every way conceivable. I love them and consider my part in bringing them into the world and raising them by far my greatest accomplishment. They’re all better than I ever will be.

I’m incredibly grateful for Amy. This has easily been the most difficult year in my life so far, but having Amy unexpectedly come into my life has been the silver lining. She is smart, beautiful, funny, sweet, sexy, and loving, and she makes me happier than I thought I could be. I love her and everything about her.

I’m lucky to have a great group of friends and family that have helped me get through the tough patches this year. I’m impressed and touched by the empathy and compassion I felt from so many of you. I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are. Those of you who have judged me harshly without knowing all the facts can suck it.

I’m thankful to have a fantastic job, especially with the current economy. Not only do I get paid to do something I genuinely enjoy, but I work with a great group of people that I actually like.

Finally, I’m thankful for Amy’s neighbor who left their wireless network open so that I could post this. Thanks, whomever you are!


After posting this, it occurred to me that I was remiss in not mentioning that I’m thankful for Lissa. Despite the divorce, she has had a profound impact on my life. We had a lot of good times together, and I learned a lot from our relationship together. She has been one of my closest friends, and she certainly deserves much of the credit for the way my kids turned out.