Yearly Archives: 2011

Christian and I go to the library

Day 126 of 1000 (212.2 lbs.)

Christian and I went down to the Hill Library at NCSU while everyone else went out to what is arguably the busiest day of the year at the mall.  Why anyone would do that is beyond my understanding.  Christian found that he has access to the computers in the library now that he has been accepted as a student for next fall.  We had a great time.  He worked on a physics animation and I worked on some code for my new job.  Then, we went to Wendy’s where we received to small Frosty’s for FREE because they brought one of the sandwiches late.  It does not get much better than that.

One hurdle crossed, seven more to go

Day 125 of 1000 (212.2 lbs.)

I cannot believe that I weigh less today than I did yesterday.  We had TONS of good food sitting around all day including pizza and candy.  It must be the salad and the rigorous jigsaw puzzle assembly that kept the calorie input down and the calories burnt up.  Today is another BIG hurdle, what with the turkey sitting on the counter ready to cook as soon as we get home from meeting, not to mention the chocolate covered pretzels we are taking to eat after meeting.


Day 124 of 1000 (no scale, but will weigh and post when I return home – 212.5 lbs.  Ouch but better than I thought)

Today, the kids and I will go shopping, just the three of us.  It should be a lot of fun.  This is not a normal year for me, as if any year is a “normal” year.  The job transition takes a lot of time and I will have to work and drive during much of the holiday.  I am glad Grandpa Lauro and Grandma Conchita are here.  We enjoy them a lot and it is nice for the family when I am so busy.  Hopefully it will all smooth out before too long.

Filipino Food

Day 123 of 1000 (Blew it big time on Filipino food – it would have been ungracious not to!  I will weigh again tomorrow)

Our very, very good friends May G. (who works in China), Mary Lou G., and their mother from Albuquerque came to our house and made a TON of absolutely fabulous Filipino food.  We had quite a crowd.  We got to hear some great stories about China and Mongolia.  We sang some hymns.  It does not get much better than that.

Home tonight

Day 121 of 1000 (no scale, OK but not as good as yesterday)

Man, this shaming thing to get myself to lose weight is a GOOD thing.  I actually think of the fact that I am going to have to post about it the next day.  Last night I fell off the wagon just a little, but plan to get back on today.  It is hard not to snack during the 3-1/2 hour drive home to Charlotte.  I will just get a big soda which will tide me over.  I am now going home for the holidays and will only make one short trip to see a customer tomorrow.  Good deal.

First customer trip

Day 120 of 1000 (no scale, but doing good!)

I am over here in Charlotte again with my first trip to visit a customer on the schedule today.  It is a great little problem–pretty easy to solve, but pretty hard to solve fast.  We have a game plan we hope will work, but will have to execute perfectly.  In the meantime, Lorena and the kids are enjoying Grandpa Lauro and Grandma Conchita back in Raleigh.  It would be nice to be there, but it will also be nice to be there in a couple of days.  Hopefully, Kelly will have some of her drawings for me to put up when I get there.

First photo with Droid X2

Day 118 or 1000 (213.0 lbs.)

First Droid X2 pictureI was down to 211.5 lbs yesterday, but fell off the wagon a little when the family hung out together yesterday evening.  Time to get back on the wagon.  There is a little gym at the hotel in Charlotte where I stay when I am up there to work.  I took my workout clothes with me last week, but spent so much time going out to dinner with people, there was no time to do anything but eat.  This time next week, I hope to get to Subway for lunch or bring in some no-fatty stuff.

Grandpa Lauro and Grandma Conchita arrive at the airport this morning at 10:37.  Christian, Kelly, and I will go to meeting, but Lorena will have to run over to the airport.  We very much look forward to having them around.  The plan is to make Monterrey style tamales next week.  That is not going to help my diet any, but they surely are good.

The picture at the left is my first attempt to take a picture and email it from my new Droid X2 phone.  It was pretty easy.

My new Droid X2 and Bojangles

I ran into a Bojangles restaurant on the way home from Charlotte this evening.  My new company had given me a brand new Motorola Droid X2.  I tried to figure out how to the GPS as I waited for my order.  The (really nice) guy behind the counter asked me what I was doing.  I told him.

He said, “I can help you with that if you would like.”

I have him the phone and in less then three minutes he had me programmed to get home to Raleigh.  I think I was more humbled by the fact that he was willing to help me without out laughing at me than his obvious prowess with small digital devices.

Kelly and Christian get accepted at NC State

Day 116 of 1000 (Still no scale!)

Christian wrote the following on his Facebook page:

We are pleased to notify you of your acceptance into the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences – Applied Mathematics for the 2012 Fall semester.

The only difference in Kelly’s letter was that it said “Statistics” instead of Applied Mathematics.  We are all very excited and happy about it.  They will both be starting as Juniors.

Off to my new job in Charlotte!

Day 114 of 1000 (211.6 lbs.)

I am heading to Charlotte early this morning for my first day of a new job.  I will be driving quite a bit more and flying a little, but it will be nice to be out of the house and back to factory automation.  I will be able to write more in the evenings when I am on the road.

P.S.  Did you see I am back on track Wendy!  Thank you for the push! Hold my feet to the fire!

My last day at Bioptigen

Day 113 of 1000 (212.8 lbs.)

You will notice that I was shamed into putting my weight back up again (Thank you, Wendy–hold my feet to the fire!)  The problem now is that today is my last day of work here at Bioptigen.  They will take me out to lunch as some place really good, probably the Carniceria around the corner that has a working man’s Mexican restaurant with handmade corn tortillas.  How can I resist that?  I think it would offend everyone if I did not eat a couple barbacoa tacos.  So, I will skip breakfast this morning in hope that I do not shoot up five pounds.  They really should start a research project on my energy conversion.  For every pound I eat, I think I gain four or five pounds.

My stay at Bioptigen has been great.  The work was interesting (image processing algorithm development for ophthalmological optical coherence tomography), the people were really great, especially my new Russian friends, and I will miss it a lot.  I hate the last day of work at a job after I have made good, hopefully lifelong friends and done very interesting work.  I always wonder whether or not I am making a mistake, but the new work is also interesting with great people, and what appears to be more opportunity, so I am looking forward to it.  I will talk a little about my new job tomorrow.

Finals week and Economic Animation

Day 112 of 1000

This week is finals week at Wake Technical Community College.  Everyone in the house except me studied for finals.  I worked on a project for my new job which involved mostly study about a new product.  I am going to be glad for three weeks of non-study activities starting next week.  The one fun thing that happened this weekend was Christian’s Macroeconomics project.  He had to put together a brief video of some macroeconomic principle.  The first pass was not so good, so he decided he would try to learn how to do animation and use that to smooth over the rough spots.  This is what he produced:

Update: He did it in Linux with Kdenlive, Inkscape, pencil, paper, scanner, and his Nikon d90.

Education in the West

Day 111 of 1000

The kid’s friends, Mike and Nestor, came over to the house yesterday to study for their multi-variable calculus test for 4-5 hours.  I got to talk to them a bit.  Both of them want to be engineers, but neither of them took a traditional educational path, Nestor having come to the U.S. a few years ago and Mike having taken some extended time in Iraq.  They are both impressive people and they work very hard at hard classes. My Russian buddy, Stepan and his wife are leaning hard toward what he calls “Home Education” for his two daughters.  After looking it over they have decided they do not want the educational system, public or private, to get their hands on his daughters. 

Then Eric G. sent me a link to an article on the bankruptcy of the Western educational system.  The article, titled “Educated” people, is spot on.  There is lots of stuff like this in the article:

We are not where we are because we were privileged; oh no. We got ahead because we work harder and just had a knack for that education thing.

This forgets of course that education in the United States and Europe at this point is a certification program more than anything else. It tests basic intelligence in some areas; in other areas, such as the liberal arts, it increasingly tests nothing but political allegiance and the ability to recite dogma in different forms (such “A Feminist Analysis of Cetacean Symbolism in Public Policy”).

Even in the sciences, we do not test intelligence so much as obedience, memorization and application of rote. This enables us to stop relying on smart people and to instead promote lots of interchangeable cogs. 

I completely resonate with that whole quote.  The problem now is to figure out how to educate one’s kids rather than “Educate” them in the sense described at the Amerika blog.  Every day, we are more thankful we homeschooled our kids.  We have turned more and more of the responsibility over to our kids.  We will try to help them, but they will increasingly have to navigate the educational morass on their own.  I wish I knew the answer.