Sore Loser

As I mentioned before, I have been taking part in product marketing studies as a way to make some extra cash. It’s been working well. I find them fun and interesting, and I think I’m pretty good at them. There is a caramel candy taste study I hope I am chosen for that is 3 hours long and pays $350. If I can eat caramel for 3 hours, I think I would do it for free.

Anyway, I am always on the lookout for new studies to which I can apply. I saw this one the other day.

It kind of makes me wish I had recurring cold sores (note to self: bad name for a band).

Vampire Resistant

Well, I tried. I really did. I went to my appointment earlier this week and got my mini-physical. Turns out that I’m in excellent health, thank you. Although I’m not sure how good of a physical it really was as they would not let me drop my pants or take off my shirt in the office. I then answered a bunch of questions about my health history before I was ultimately rejected and went home in disgrace. Just to clarify, in disgrace is normally how I return home from everywhere.

That’s right, they didn’t want my donation of blood plasma without a doctor’s note from my dermatologist verifying that she has my skin cancer under control. No problem, right? Uh, actually …

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Another Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

Tonight I start what I hope will be a series of blood plasma donations. Blood plasma is critically needed to create medicines to treat rare, genetic, and chronic diseases. I first heard about it through my brother-in-law who donates. Of course, he’s also donated one of his kidneys. Show-off. Anyway, here’s an overview if you are interested.

I am fine with all that, but one thing troubles me. I want to specify that my blood plasma only be used to treat Democrats and Independents. Definitely NOT to be used to help Republicans. Am I a bad guy?

I’m Completely Lost on My Weight Loss Journey

I didn’t do a post about my weight loss/gain in March, but I planned to. I was so proud. The 1 single solitary pound I gained in February I was able to lose in March. Big deal, right? Well, for me, it was. I was all set to explain (with pictures!) how I was certain that taking a specific type of walk outside was responsible for losing that 1 single pound in March.

But then April happened. April showers bring May flowers, right? But snow showers? We had several snows at the beginning of April that kept me inside. And when it wasn’t snowing, it seemed to be raining. The clouds parted for a few days, including Easter, but Easter brought with it lots of chocolate. After Easter, it rained some more, sometimes in monsoon-like fashion. Most of my exercise was indoors in April. The pounds piled on unabated. How could I blog proudly about a 1 pound loss in March when I was porking out in April. I was ready to shrug, give up, and just accept what appeared was going to be a 5 pound weight GAIN in April when I got sick. Then the strangest thing happened.

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Where’ve I Been?

Like you really care. I’ve been silent for most of this week, and I haven’t even received one “Please Post Soon” card. All I’ve gotten is an overdue gas bill warning me that I’ll be without gas if I don’t pay. As if I would ever be gasless. I wish! So does this Brazilian model.

Although I warned you that there may be changes coming to this blog, at least fart content remains. Full fart story here. Most changes I had planned were pertaining specifically to how this blog looks, content, ads, etc. That hasn’t really worked out as planned. It seems that unless I give WordPress a lot of money each year to “upgrade” this blog, then some desired features are unavailable to me. More money poured into this blog? That’s like investing in WorldCom and ain’t happening.

But there are a couple really good things happening.

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My March to Weight Loss

I need to focus on March for weight loss, because February was a disaster. I gained a pound. On second thought, considering world events, the added pound in February probably doesn’t really qualify as a disaster.

It wasn’t for lack of effort that I gained weight. My steps/cycles remained consistent.

Negating those consistent steps was my love for chocolate and Valentine’s Day intersecting. It would help if my wife bought me chocolate from the dollar store rather than from the fancy-schmancy chocolatier in town. Maybe she loves me so much that she wants there to be more of me to love. Well, in February, she got her wish.

But Valentine’s Day was just one day. That can’t be the whole reason for my weight gain. I think I know what the real reason is though.

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Taste Test Fail

I was so excited. I was scheduled this week to participate in 2 paid market research studies that involved taste tests. I had found my true calling. It fit my skill set so perfectly. I could sit on my ass, eat and/or drink, use a computer, give my opinion, and get paid for it. I was born for that. I do that at home all the time and never get paid for it.

The first taste test went well. I got to try 2 versions of a berry granola cereal. The first version was skimpy with the berries, and I gave it a thumbs down. The second version was loaded with berries and earned a better rating from me. What I don’t like about berry cereals is the dried berries have a weird texture unless they get softened with milk. It was a timed taste test, so I had to crunch through some of the berries which I didn’t like. I much prefer fresh or thawed frozen berries in my cereal.

At the conclusion, I collected my Visa card loaded with cash and headed home. It sounds like a success, but there was one big problem.

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Feeling Fabulously Fat For February

I’m overweight in February and am thrilled. Why? Certainly not because I gained 5 pounds in December which was the maximum I was allowing myself for the whole winter.

They may have gotten the pronoun wrong in that gif, but that’s me they are talking about. As I reported in my last weighty post, my goal for January was to simply hold the line and not gain any more weight in January. Unlikely? Yes. Who wants to exercise and watch what you eat in the dead of winter? Not me. I want to sit, eat, and watch television while my wife, kids, and neighbors shovel my snow. But it somehow happened. I gave it a week into February to make 100% sure, but I continue to hang in at 5 pounds max gained and may even be heading back down just a bit. I’m thrilled!

Against all odds, my steps actually trended up a bit in January. Take a look.

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Another Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

I have started a new “career” doing market research studies for cash. So far, I have finished a Medicare study that was not only profitable, but provided me useful information. Next week, I am scheduled for some product taste testing. Yum!

As I review and apply for opportunities, I spotted these two.

Now that’s a lot of money. After seeing those, I can’t help but feel jealous of those with lung cancer and hospitalized with COVID. Am I a bad guy?

I’m Not L’oven This Weather

It’s been cold here. A blogger I follow recently referred to such bitter cold as Brass Monkey Weather. We’ve had our fill of brass monkey weather recently in the Chicago area. Just yesterday, we endured temps of -14F/-25C. During weather this cold, I like to use our oven as much as I can. After I am done with the oven, I open it a bit and let hot air (not from me) flood the kitchen. I love that feeling of warmth enveloping me. But I can’t anymore since my dog set himself on fire. He’s ruined it for me, because now we have these on the oven.

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Where’s My Free Scorpion?

I shop at a local Aldi store a couple times a month. Never have I received one of these with my fresh produce, but I want to, because, well, someone else got one free.

Of course, this happened in Australia. Where else? They have so many dangerous, deadly creatures there that I think they probably expect to find a scorpion in their vegetables. Here’s the comment from the woman who found the scorpion.

‘I’m happy dealing with caterpillars and bugs in fresh produce but was shocked to see a scorpion crawling around. He was very much alive and very cranky.’

Here’s Aldi’s response:

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Waitlisted for Weight Loss

Every winter for me it is the same. I gain weight. I planned to allow myself 5 pounds of weight gain this winter. However, I never expected I would hit my 5 pound “goal” by the end of December, but there I was, staring at the scale in disbelief at the beginning of 2022. Just a tip for those of you trying to lose weight, sucking in your gut while standing on the scale and staring in disbelief does not reduce your weight.

I delayed writing this until I was sure that the weight gain was a just temporary upward blip. Instead, as I write this, I am certain that my 5 pound weight loss visitor is here for an extended stay. But the good news is that I’m holding steady there and we are over half the way through calendric winter. And instead of thinking that I have gained back 25% of the weight I lost, it helps for me to think that I have gained back 1/16th of the weight I lost 4 times. Seems less to me.

One problem could be my steps took a literal step back in December. Take a look.

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COVID Comes Home

Unfortunately, it’s MY home. My 13 year old daughter tested positive for Covid yesterday, and has some symptoms, but not severe. We hope and pray she recovers quickly and fully with no side effects. Get vaccinated and boosted.

Our daughter just got her booster shot Friday, so probably not soon enough to fully protect her. I’m not surprised she got sick. Our local school district is being decimated by Covid at the student and educator level. So far, my wife (an educator in the school district) has escaped a Covid infection, but I figured my daughter would eventually get it. All her friends seem to be getting it. Peer pressure, perhaps?

So, now what? I’ll be spending a lot of time away from my family in my home office and basement, so business as usual for me. I will be stocking up on Covid therapeutics, just in case. Ivermectin? Check! But I do have a question. Will the dewormer Ivermectin work on Covid if you don’t have worms? If not, I’ll have to stock up on worms, too.

Twitter has proven to be a treasure trove of information as to how to treat Covid beyond such commonsense cures like livestock dewormers. I had all I needed for this next one in the kitchen.

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Don’t Look Up & Definitely Don’t Exercise

I watched that new movie Don’t Look Up. I didn’t think it was the greatest film ever made, but liked parts of it. Well, so much for the movie review portion of this blog post. One part I found totally unbelievable was when they showed people exercising while watching the news of a giant comet coming to destroy the planet.

If I knew a planet-killing comet was on the way, I would immediately cease all forms of exercise and healthy eating. I would eat myself into a chocolate coma (good name for a band) and await the inevitable destruction. Of course, that would be after I took care of my family by telling them to take shelter in the basement and to keep their grubby mitts off my chocolate.

My Positive Christmas COVID Test

Before starting our Christmas festivities with family, we all tested for Covid as some in the family are immunocompromised. We used nasal swab home test kits.

The store was out of the rectal test versions that I prefer. Anyway, with these nasal tests, one red line means you are negative for Covid, and two red lines mean you got the Covid.

Pretty simple, right? I was grateful that my test yielded only one red line. But what did what was underneath mean? Take a look.

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International Man of Business

I have enjoyed being involved in international business, both import and export, for many years now.

Working internationally with import-export has helped me realize that people the world over are just like me, trying to eke out a living and provide for their families. I wish those in the US who fear “furriners” could have a chance to interact more internationally. I think the US would be a less fearful and more accepting nation.

I export a bit to the Middle East these days. I have a wish for the New Year. One of my customers is a company in Saudi Arabia called Uranus Advanced Trading. I also export to a company in Bahrain that employs an individual who I want to go to work at Uranus Advanced Trading. Why? His name is Anil Titus. Yes, I want Anil Titus busy at Uranus. Yes, I am 10 years old.

And yes, I realize this post is not very Christmassy, but I promise I have a holiday gift for you in the next post as we continue to slog through my 12 Days of Blogging. A gift receipt will NOT be provided. Be nice and pretend to like it.

My Weight Loss Waterloo

I took a couple weeks after November ended to determine if I had lost a weight loss battle or the entire war. The month of November was certainly my weight loss Waterloo, and I don’t mean the city of Waterloo in Iowa, home of the Sistene Chapel reproduced in spray paint on the walls and ceiling of a warehouse turned into a restaurant that is now closed. Thanks, Covid.

No, I’m talking about Napoleon’s Waterloo where he lost his final battle while also gaining 5 pounds thanks to a cheesecake binge. I lost a major weight loss battle in November. Fat cells are now occupying my liver, and they are threatening to invade my pancreas unless their demands for sugared sodas and cake are met. However, I may not have lost the war. Signs in December are positive about returning to or close to my goal weight I met over the summer.

I can break November into 2 distinct halves. The first half of November was characterized by 4 things:

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