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How to Fat Smash and Become an Ultramarathon Man, Pt. 1

When you surpass the weight of Homer Simpson, you began to develop an elephantine disgust with oneself. I had done this several months prior, yet kept engorging myself with foodstuffs through the holidays. It is a lucky bit then, I suppose, that ultimate collision of several motivating entities that drove the forging of both form and mind. With continuing fortitude, I shall hammer myself into an ultra-marathoner. What a load of pretentious drek that was… In all seriousness, I had previously heard that the only way the vast majority of people who achieve a drastic change in body type manage to do so is the mindset that comes along with absolute abject misery towards the state of their body. To paraphrase: I was a disgusting fat body. I felt my fat had gained enough experience to go up a level. Somewhere between 230 (Homer’s weight) and my peak of 252 I had slipped into obesity. You can feel this. Your bulges no longer seem to be a part of you, but almost as though you are wearing a coat of lipids. The underside of your arm touches your chest before it’s supposed to. When you sit on the toilet, your gut takes a nap on top of your leg. You sense your wife’s growing abhorrence towards your naked form. I would like to think that that was the kicker, that my need to please the love of my life was enough to push me to better health. For the sake of not delving into the darker, more honest portions of my psyche, we’ll leave it at that. Luckily, several other things simultaneously occurred, the first being that several of my teammates at work expressed a similar desire to shed a few pounds. Competitive nutcases that we are, a bet was formed. Money was put on the line, big money. The second motivating factor was Wired magazine publishing an article on Dean Karnazes. Dean is known as the “Ultramarathon Man� This guy ran 50 marathons in 50 days. He’s ran a marathon at the south pole. He’s won the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135 milerace from Death Valley up a mountain… in the middle of summer. I was awed at what he had done, and inspired. If this guy could push the limits of human endurance as far as he had, I certainly could push myself 1 50th of the way there. And I could give myself 2 years to do it, which would give a nice milestone of running a marathon when I’m thirty. I plan on covering the grueling steps to get where I’ve gone, and where I’m going. But right now I’ll just settle for telling you we had our second of 3 weigh ins for the bet. I’ve lost 30 pounds, more than twice the competition. I can run 5 miles on a hill climb program when I’ve never been able to run much more than 1 flat, even when I was in my weight lifting football years. I bought a belt yesterday because I was on my old belts last notch and my pants were slipping off. Best of all, I’ve had a lot of women tell me they can tell I’ve lost weight and I’m looking good. And one of those women happens to be my wife.

Entertainment for road trips and four hour drives

So, as stated previously in the title, this article is supposed to be about entertainment for road trips (and four hour drives). In particular, road trips that I am taking, but these can be applied to all sorts of events, even just short road jaunts, like the family trip to Wal*Mart or the much more anticipated Sunday excursion to The Mall. I mean, most of these games are created to entertain bored passengers at the expense of others, so please feel free to not read these if you are going to be offended when I am making fun of you on the highway. Just trying to help. Okay, so most of these can be played anytime but some of them are seasonal, which will be decidedly marked as such as we go down the list. Also, and I will mention this again, please feel free to leave in the comments section more ideas for entertaining games for road trips. I will definitely comment on whether they suck or not. 1. The accident game: This is an easy game. The first person to spot an accident gets the points. Points can be assigned as necessary, the severity of the accident is proportional to the amount of points assigned. The accident has to be confirmed in order to count for points by at least one other person inside of the vehicle. Now, if you are the cause for the accident, you lose this game for life. If you are in the accident, no one gets points for it. Also, a seasonality exists for this game. For example, in the winter, a jack knifed truck in a snow drift doesn't count for as many points as it would in the summertime when the weather is much less adverse. So, just keep that in consideration. 2. Honk and Wave: This game is basically self explanatory. You honk and wave at people, and if they wave back, you get points. You can make your own points assignment system depending on where you live, but if you are located in the midwest US area you can feel free to use the point systems allocated to me by my friend The Vic who made this game up, or at least this particular point assignment. -1 point for pedestrians -2 for people on tractors -5 for people in cars -10 for people in mac trucks -20 for people in horse and buggy -50 for any accidents you cause This game is not as compatible with the aforementioned accident game. Play one at a time or pick one you like more. I don't care. 3. The Mullet Game: This game is a game for all times. It is not limited to just playing on road trips. This game is a lifestyle. I mean, when someone wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says "damn, this awesome hairstyle looks so rad!" they are just begging to be made fun of. And if you have a mullet and are reading this, no you do not get points for yourself. Here are the rules: First one to spot the mullet gets the point. It has to be spotted by a second for the points to be valid and the group must agree that it is, in fact a mullet. The points for this game get a little complicated so feel free to customize it to fit your particular needs. -1 pt for a regular mullet. If you don't know what a mullet is, just remember this catchy little phrase, business up front, party in the back. -2pts for a skullet (the bald mullet), the she-mullet, the 80's rocker mullet, the manicured mullet and the red neck mullet. -double points for a pair of mullets, such as two friends hanging out or lovers. -triple points for a gay couple who both have mullets, groups larger than three or mullets that are hair sprayed higher than three inches. -Automatic win for the day would consist of finding something like this:mullet1.jpg Please, feel free to comment on how to improve upon these classic road trip games or post new games for the generation. If you even put down the license plate bingo game, though, you will be cursed to die the most unoriginal death i can think of at the time.

Mormons, God and my driveway

I know a little bit about Mormons.  Do you?  Did you know that if you play your cards right, Mormons will shovel your driveway for free?  In the middle of a snow storm?  Let me tell you a little story. So, today is my day off of work.  I decide since it is snowing a lot, I should probably shovel my driveway.   So, I don't know, it's probably around 11:30 and I get all ready and go out and to shovel.  I see two girls across the street and I figure they are probably are selling something.  And, I am cool with that since I used to have to do that crap for band when I was in high school.  So, anyway, I am prepared to buy a band card or whatever magazines they are selling.  I can see that I am in their targets as they make a beeline across the street to where I am dutifully shoveling my driveway and sidewalk that I share with my neighbor (I live in townhouses).  By the time I realize it, I am too late. These girls don't appear to be Mormons, which was my first mistake.  I mean, these girls are attractive, one would say cute.  I didn't know what Mormons looked like before today, but now I know for future reference.  They are going to send out the best looking of their flock to bombard potential brainwashees.  I don't' know what I thought Mormons were supposed to look like, but they aren't supposed to be that attractive.  It's really a good selling point when you think about it. Anyway, I digress. Here I was, prepared to buy a stupid magazine I didn't want when I heard these girls say, "Hey, can we shovel your driveway?"  I felt the fear and I knew there had to be a catch.  I look up, and these were not girl scouts trying to earn a new badge.  I immediately saw the name tags.  The names, I will change for protecting the innocent Mormons or maybe because I already forgot them, were bold on their black name tags surrounded by the bold lettering stating 'Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints'.  I was confronted by Sister Wayland and Sister Jehosaphat. Before I could run, Sister Jehosaphat takes the shovel from my hand, hands me her Book of Mormon and begins to shovel. I was not prepared for their onslaught.  They had used their magical Mormon powers to stun me into a stupor whilst I listened with most of my attention to Sister Wayland's story of how great the church was and how great God is and how great life is.  I am pretty sure she was telling me that everything is great, which is, of course, a lie, but they make it seem so easy and appealing.  I mean, I want everything to be great.  I really do, so when she tells me I can have it that way, I want to believe her. And she is cute.  I mean, it's really hard to say no to a cute girl.  You know what I mean?  So, here I am, listening to her and she just keeps talking and I just keep listening. So, here is how the conversation goes: Sister Wayland: Hi, can we shovel your driveway for you? Me: Um...what? (as sister Jehosefat takes the shovel from me) Ah, okay, sure. SW: We really like to do nice things for other people.  Can I talk to you for a minute? Me: (now, how can i turn her down when they are shoveling my driveway?) Ah, sure... SW: Have you heard of the book of Mormon? Me: Yeah. SW: Oh, really? (she is surprised here, like, Mormons are rare mythical creatures that I would never have seen before) Have you read it? Me: No. SW: Oh?  It's great.  I read from it everyday.  It's very inspirational.  Have you heard of the bible? Me: Yeah (seriously?) SW: So, you know about the book of Mormon?  How have you heard of it? Me: I have seen other members of your congregation when I lived at my old apartment in Akron. SW: Is that in Ohio? I am not from here.  In fact, I have only been here for five days.  (for those of you who don't know where Akron is, it IS infact in Ohio.  In reality, it's only a half hr drive from where I currently reside, as well) Me: Yeah. Only for five days? Where are you from? SW: Utah.  (this really explains a lot, being the Mormon capital of the world) I mean, this goes on for a while.  While this is all going on, it is soooo cold outside, her nose is running down her cute little face.  I am feeling kinda bad for her, so I interrupt her very exciting description of how great god is and everything and ask her if she would like some Kleenex.  Unfortunately , I am out of Kleenex since I myself was sick all week, and so all i have to offer her is toilet paper.  How silly.   I was just trying to be nice. We then go back to the description, and then she wants to know if she can come back.  I say "of course" because I just can't be mean to such nice and pretty girls.  I mean, they are soo nice and soo pretty.  What was I supposed to do?  And now she has my address and my name and my phone number.  So, today I made friends with a Morman. After all is said and done, I realize that the Sister Jehosefat has shoveled not mine but my neighbor's driveway.  Well, I think the moral of this story is that you should really specify which driveway belongs to you when you sell your worldly  soul to members of the Church of Latterday Saints.  They did leave me with some very motivational reading material and plan on calling me for another information session.  I wonder what household chores I can get them to do for me next time they come calling.

Five T-Shirts That Can Improve Your Life

T-shirts are the apex of human fashion design. Although man and womankind have clothed themselves in many different materials, in arrangements ranging from the functional to the impractical, from the plain to the ebullient, nothing tops the simple comfort and versatility of the T-shirt. You can even use yours as a laptop case. Need proof? Below are five T-shirts that can actually improve you life. window blinds T-shirt1) Can a T-shirt with a simple, elegant design, help you find your soul mate? The answer is yes. Pull the cord, and suddenly it is apparent why this shirt is so brilliant. By raising these shades, you can send a subtle but sexy message to that attractive person from across the dance floor (or bingo parlor, whatever, I'm not going to tell you how to live your life). Made by a Japanese company with an inscrutable name, it's a good illustration of the kind of clever, art-and-craft ideas you buy Make Magazine and shop at Ikea for. Unfortunately, it's only available at museum shops in a few select cities.
digital watch T-shirt2) Watches have become completely superfluous. Everything has a clock on it, and you are never at a loss for the current time. In my house, if I want to know what time it is, I can check the stove, the microwave, my phone, my MP3 player, my computer, and my wife's extensive clock collection. The point is, watches are superfluous, and if you try to get a watch that actually is useful - like a calculator watch - you will be ostracized for your poor fashion sense. So this shirt is perfect, in that it makes owning a watch even more optional than it already is. How will it improve you life? Well, having thrown away all your watches, if you ever find yourself adrift in the open ocean, you can use this accurate time piece to calculate longitude. You can see it at ThinkGeek.
dry-erase T-shirt 3) One of the age-old dilemmas of the human condition is the problem of communication. Homo sapiens is a social animal, yet outside of speech, we are given few ways to express ourselves. And things like text-messaging and sign language don't count, because they are unnatural abominations. T-shirts can solve this problem. They impart super powers - specifically, telepathy. This shirt uses an advanced dry-erase technology to allow you to communicate your thoughts without speaking a word. Finally you can transmit abstract, complicated concepts directly from your brain (or actually your neck, from the placement of the thought bubble) out to the world. More information at Blue Fish T-shirts.
Math cheat sheet shirt4) Unlike sombreros, tabi shoes, and saris, T-shirts are useful and universal. So it is fitting that this next shirt helps you with the universal language: mathematics. That's right - although languages and religions vary from place to place, when it comes time to build a bridge or send up a satellite, everyone uses the same math. But how are you supposed to remember your sines, cosines, and tangents when you haven't used any of that stuff since high school? Now you don't need to, you can bring a math crib sheet everywhere you go. Don't even get me started on calc--what the hell was all that supposed to be? It's sold by a place called Computer Gear.
Air-guitar T shirt5) This last shirt will make you wonder how you have lived you life wearing such boring, non-musical shirts. What would you say if I told you that all the time you have spent at Van Halen concerts rocking the air guitar from the bleachers no longer will go to waste? Strum the air, and a chord is produced - almost as if a guitar was there. Dr Richard Helmer a team of researchers at CSIRO Textiles and Fibre Technology have made your dream a reality by inventing a functional air-guitar T-shirt. Although actually, there is some controversy over who was the true inventor of the air-guitar shirt. As far as I can tell, it's not yet available for sale. So you will have to wait, most likely with bated breath. If the prospect of a magical air-guitar T-shirt does not make you gaze skyward and sigh, then you, my friend, must already be dead inside. Special bonus: Want more ideas? There's a book, Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt, that should give you a few little projects to try.

Science Projects: Floating on Hexafluoride

Whatever floats your boat: [youtube]1PJTq2xQiQ0[/youtube] This cool science demonstration shows a light "boat" floating on a sea of sulfur hexafluoride gas.  The gas is significantly denser than the surrounding air, but still transparent, so it looks like a magic trick. This experiment might not be as easy to do as our last article about non-newtonian fluids, although you can apparently get sulfur hexafluoride for as little as $10 a pound.  If you do get your hands on some, the floating on thin air tick is just one fun thing to do with it. Most people have performed the serious scientific experiment knowns as "inhaling a helium balloon." If you inhale helium, your voice will change to a higher pitch because the speed of sound in helium is higher than in air. With Sodium Hexafluoride, the opposite is true, and you'll have a Barry White-style bass. [youtube]a9ifZlu6YKk[/youtube] Don't inhale too much, or release it in an enclosed space - because it's heavier than air, it can stick around and make it hard to get enough oxygen.