Matt’s Sensible Diet Plan

Along with starting the Couch to 5k running plan, for the last week I’ve been focusing on my diet. My goal is to lose 35 pounds. And I will. I don’t know how long it’ll take, and I don’t care. I’m going to do the simple eat right and exercise. Nothing wild.

There is the age old saying “losing weight is easy, I’ve done it a hundred times.” Count me in as one of those. I have no problem losing weight when I focus on it. It’s maintaining it that’s key. And I think maybe the key to maintaining it is not to get too crazy. Rather do small changes that become not a matter of effort, rather a matter of habit.

What’s my different approach this time? It’s what I’m going to call my “but it’s much better than” philosophy. I’m not going to be a maniac with my eating; rather I’m going to choose items that are better than what I would “normally” have—even if they are not perfect.

So for example, 2 scrambled eggs on white toast with ketchup is not great, but it’s much better than 4 Eggo waffles with syrup. It’s also easy to make, inexpensive, and filling enough to get me to lunch without feeling too hungry. Same applies for [fill in the blank]. You get the idea.

But, even with this philosophy, I’m still going to limit my calories until I reach my goal. I can easily eat 3 scrambled eggs on a roll with bacon. See?

In a nutshell, my program consists of:

1) Exercise – Couch to 5K
2) Diet – Calorie Restriction and “but it’s much better than” philosophy
3) Nutritional Supplementation – Multi Vitamins, Omega 3s, and Extra Vitamin D.

I also want to accomplish this without joining a gym. Besides the nutritional supplements (which I take regardless of if I’m on a diet or not), I’d like to spend no extra money (special food, exercise equipment, gym memberships, etc.).

Once I’m well on my way to my goal, I’m going to incorporate some resistance training—which might require some investment in some equipment. I’m thinking rubber bands, but we’ll wait and see.

Productivity Tidbit via Daily Quote

I read this daily quote on my iGoogle page today. How it rings so true. It’s essential to avoid this if you’re trying to apply a productivity system.

I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.
– Beryl Pfizer

The tip of the day is to make sure your lists are accessible to you at all times.

Couch to 5K

I’m going to give this running program a shot. It’s for people like me who need to get in shape.

The program progresses through week phases in order to build up to 5K.

I was never a long distance runner, so 5k is a perfect goal for me. 5k is actually the furthest I ever ran. I got terribly out of shape and am psyched to get back on the saddle. I’m even more psyched that there is an app for the G1 that has alarms to tell you when to jog or walk in the different phases.

Unfortunately it’s about to thunderstorm any minute now, so I’ll have to start tomorrow.

Real Time Web. What and who is it good for?

I followed along online to TechCrunch’s CrunchUp earlier today. Two thoughts popped into my mind during the parts I was able to follow. First is regarding real time web and its importance. Second is how much thought and energy is put on how real time web will be abused my malicious netizens (which I’ll cover in the post following this).

Ok. Real time web’s importance. First, what information needs to be broadcast and received in real time? Second, who needs it?

I really have a tough time finding any vital uses for real time web. Today, information goes out, gets filtered, and gets consumed. Pretty quickly. How long does it take a breaking news event to reach the media? Not long. Faster the better, right? Perhaps on the surface, but is it better? If there is an earthquake in San Francisco, what good does it do me (in NY) to find about it in real time vs. 15-30 minutes for it to reach the major news sites? My life is unaltered by finding out about events, news, opinions, or anything else in real time.

So then, who really needs it? And what does it do to serve the greater good? Traffic? Weather? hmmm.

How to x in y many simple steps

I can’t tell how much it bothers me to see so many advice blogs (personal, business, how to, etc) give a list of “simple” steps to accomplish something—when the list is a list of lists of lists.

How to solve widget problem in 2 steps:

Step 1:
Do the following 10 things:
Thing 1: Do these 3 other things:
Other thing 1: Simply do these 5 other other things.

You get the point. It drives me crazy. And why I almost always avoid lists in my feed reader. I’m a prejudiced antilistite.

Same goes for 10 best sites for x. Then the 10 sites are lists of other sites. Repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse.

Google Chrome OS? Time for Google to put their money where their mouth is.

Google Chrome OS better not crash, ever.

We’ve heard ad nauseum complaining about Windows not being perfect. Is anything perfect? Windows crashes every now and then. Lets see how Google OS fairs. I predict it’ll be more buggy and crash more often than Windows. Why? I’m a heavy Google user and I know from experience that:

  • Gmail crashes.
  • GReader can be buggy and crashes.
  • The Chrome browser crashes.
  • Android G1 phone has bugs and crashes.
  • Even Google search has issues at times.
  • Docs and spreadsheets are a long way from being anywhere close to Word and Excel.
  • Calendar does some strange things.

I can go on and on.

Truth be told. I have less issues with Windows and MS Office than I do with Google’s offerings.

Google has been able to get away with it for long enough since most of their offerings are free. Although the G1 phone isn’t, which burns me a bit.

Now that the OS will be integrated with a paid product, they are going to have to be a little more responsible and responsive.

The more they venture out, the more scrutiny they’ll face. Which is long overdue, IMO.

And to be clear. I want Google to succeed. I love their offerings, just not the Microsoft hating apologists’ double standards.

Inconsistency, My Frustration with the G1 Phone

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I log into forums, some people are having the same problem, some people aren’t. Some people had the issue before Cupcake, other the issue started after.

That sums up my frustration with this phone. Since the problems aren’t consistent, there is never a consensus. This is a major headache since the causes of the problems are hard to isolate and identify. Also this makes it impossible to avoid the problems.

My phone recently started to randomly shut itself off. Luckily it does not shut down when it is in use, but in sleep mode. Still, it would stink to miss an important call because the phone just decided to turn itself off. I searched and people are having varying levels of the same issue. Not one person (including me) can identify any conclusive repro steps. I called T-Mobile, and they are sending me a new battery. Based on my experience with it, and reading others’, I really doubt it’s the battery. But I’ll give it a shot.

Here are some other sporadic issues/problems:

  • GPS doesn’t always “hone in” quickly on maps. But it does after a reboot.
  • Compass, which had worked, suddenly is flipped (north is south and south is north)
  • Battery charge percentage not accurately displayed. After charging for hours, it appears like it’s not fully charged. But then after a reboot, it’s at 100%.
  • Camera crashes / loses “connection” to SD card. Fixes after reboot of phone.

I touched on a similar point about marketing complex products. Perhaps troubleshooting complex products has the same challenges.

Does the iPhone have these annoyances? I’m satisfied enough with the G1 to get my money’s worth out of it and honor my service commitment. I’ll have to see over time if future generations of Android phones have these kinks worked out. If not, Apple here I come. By that time I’m sure I’ll be tired of a work in progress (if Android isn’t perfected by then). There is something to be said about Jobs’ insistence on excellence.

Also, I’m surprised how many Google loving Microsoft hating people put up with bugs—when they are quick to call out Microsoft for their bugs.

Yankee Stadium

Got to go to my first Yankee game this year. First time in the new stadium.

Overall, the new stadium is awesome. I loved it. The prices of food and drink are outrageous, but for a purely gamewatching experience, it’s perfect.

My ticket was less than $30. It was nosebleeds, but not a bad view. If you do venture out to buy a $10 beer, at least you can see the game from the open air concession areas. And the concessions run around the entire length of the stadium, so there are no lines.

It wasn’t very crowded, but there were no bathroom lines at all.

Before, during, and after the game, the walkways around the stadium are roomy enough so that there aren’t any logjams. Very non-claustrophobic. The old stadium is like a dungeon compared to this one.

I got there early, and they let you get up close to watch BP.

Also the staff are super friendly. They had to have gone through some extensive training.

I don’t want to hear how it’s not family or kid friendly. With some planning, you can enjoy it without blowing a ton of money.

G1 1.5 “Cupcake” Bugs

I’ll follow up my last post highlighting my quick take on all of the improvements. I thought I’d take a moment and write about some bugs I see. So far I notice two.

First. The app Scoreboard has a number of issues. I’ll put this in with G1 bugs since it’s a native Google app. First the updating is sporadic again (it used to be like this, they updated it, but now it’s broken again). Also, the view of the day’s scores is all messed up. It’s not very useful at all in this state.

Second. In the Market under “my downloads,” all my installed apps are showing a status of “free” (or “purchased”) when they should be listed as “installed.” Also there are no alerts when the apps have an updated build to download. I read on the t-mobile forum that you should just “simply reinstall” all the apps. C’mon. I have over 40 of them. A few I updated, and they show right. I hope there is a fix on their end before I have to go in and reinstall all of them.

All in all I love the improvements. I guess there will be a constant ironing of issues. I’m going to keep updating this post as I find more bugs.

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