It's On!

I have been preparing to do this new diet/lifestyle for a few weeks now.  I decided to have one last weekend of eating fun and then start in on Monday morning.  So I am starting today.  Among my last items were a Frecheta Pizza, Dr. Pepper, Brownies and Cape Cod salt and vinegar chips.  I am not saying goodbye to that stuff forever but for a while.  I am saying goodbye to eating them the way I used to.  I don't need to eat a full bag of chips, a pizza and a 1 liter of Dr. Pepper in one evening.  I normally don't pig out like that just so you know.  I even had some blackberries and raspberries.  I will say goodbye to fruit for a while but that will be one of the first things I add back in when I get to my normal weight.  In moderation of course. 

So what does this look like?  It looks like you eat mostly meat and vegetables.  This diet is big on eating lots of healthy veggies.  No corn or potatoes.  Things like salad and green veggies are a must.  Last night I cooked a big roast beef.  I will be enjoying that on lunch.  I have plenty of precooked bacon and eggs as well.  Dinner will be a lot of variety.  Chicken, turkey burgers, hamburgers, london broil in soy and garlic, chicken breasts....  I can also have some cheese and all the sugar free jello you can eat.  I am finding sauces and marinades are out but many of the shake on rubs and seasonings are fine to use to give meat more pizazz.  

This phase of what I am going to call an experiment is the most restricted.  It is the part where you force your body to burn fat for fuel instead of the carbs you eat.  When you eat too many carbs your body stores it as fat.  If you aren't super active the body never has a chance to switch to burning fat for energy and the fat stays.  Tomorrow the cycle starts again and if that is your lifestyle then before you know it you are fat.  By being very strict with carbs I will force my body to go into ketosis which will convert fat into energy.  Due to eating high protein and fat my body should not start consuming muscle mass (as can happen in a low calorie diet) for energy but instead will focus on the body fat.  I will use ketosis strips to make sure this is happening as it should be.   Below is a short video that illustrates what happens in the body.

I see this as kind of an experiment.  I tried low carb once before but not with the determination I should have had.  Even so it worked but I didn't do it long enough.  After trying the low cal and lots of exercise method a few times (losing weight on all of them but always regaining) I have decided that giving this a shot again is a good idea.  Especially since I think this works with the body more so than the others. 

Starting today my goal is to lose 100lbs before my birthday next year.  Let it be written.  This is my goal. 

What a difference a week makes

A lot has happened in the last week.  Some I will post about and some I won't right now. 

One thing I am finding is that it can very hard to get started on a diet.  I have done a good job trying to eradicate some of the starchy and sugary foods form the house but they just keep coming.  I had a birthday last week which didn't help.  That means a birthday cake.  It is my favorite cake and I only get it once a year.  I decided to enjoy that.  My parents were in the Boston area the day before my birthday and they stopped into an Indian store.  So they had to load up on unique foods made in India of course including many snacks.  It was very thoughtful but it didn't help me to get started on my weight loss.  My lovely and beautiful wife bought me a watermelon.  I am glad she did that.   I love watermelon and this will probably be the only one I get this year.  During my weight loss I won't be eating watermelon.  I will have it in small amounts once I am in what I will call maintenance but that is going to be a while.  So needless to say my start has been delayed.  I am not giving up though and I know that change often doesn't happen easy or overnight.  I am still having fun doing the research.

I have actually done a lot of research into weight loss and how our bodies work to metabolize food recently.  I am really trying to learn this so that I can make good food choices and get this done right.  I have made a lot of discoveries and drawn a lot of conclusions from what I have studied.  A lot of this has to do with what kind of science are you going to believe.  What kind of science I choose to believe has a lot to do the fact that I think that God is smarter than we are and His creation in the form of our bodies is more amazing than we realize.  I think we have made many mistakes over the years in believing we knew what was best medically when in the end our bodies were fine the way they were.  We live in a society that is very information and media driven.  I don't think you can always trust that media to give you all the facts and answers.  There is just too much to gain from being able to control media and information for it to be our sole source of information.  I have taken this into account and thought everything though as carefully as I can.  I do think our bodies work the way they are supposed to.  If we get hungry there is a reason for that.  Eating until you are full is normal and not a problem.  If we get tired then we believe we should sleep.  If we get hungry we don't always believe we should eat though.  Strange how we make that distinction.  I no longer do.  God got it right the first time and understanding the signals your body is giving you is the best thing we can do for our own health and weight loss.  Having said all that I have come to believe a few important things about nutrition that I think are key to getting myself to a healthy weight.

One is that healthy fats in the form of animal and saturated fats are not bad for you.  In fact they are good for you.  I don't believe in low fat or trans fat. I also don't think that because we eat animal fat that means it is simply transferred directly to our bodies as fat.  That is an overly simple view that ignores a very complex chemical process in our bodies called digestion.  I think "low fat" is a fraud on our society because I think it is actually hurting us.  Most low fat foods make up for the fat with sugar after all. 

Second is that sugar is not our friend.  I love sugar and sweets like most people.  I have increased my intake of sugar over the years like many have.  I have a body that has gotten larger over the years as a result.  I really believe that sugar is the problem with our modern diet.  I think our bodies crave sugar because they are craving fruits and some vegetables.  Not the super refined ultra blast that is the sugar we have today.  Remember that 200 years ago sugar was a very small part of anyone's diet.  Most people were thin and heart disease was almost unheard of.   That was a disease of the very wealthy that could afford to eat more...sugar.   Today we are all wealthy in the western world compared to the whole world.  We eat a lot of sugar and don't exercise much.  Our diseases are a result of this rich life we live. 

Third is that grains are not our friend.   That includes whole grains.  Sure there are health benefits to many grains but it may be a bit like wrapping a vitamin with poison.  Grains are carbs that break down into sugar.  See paragraph above.  I am not saying don't ever eat any grains but I am saying it should be a very small part of a diet and not the huge part it is now for most people.  Our diet is very heavily grain based now. 

So having said that my diet of choice is going to be low carb.  For many reasons I may explain in the future I think this diet is most closely related to the way our bodies are supposed to work.  I think we get fat because we eat too many carbs and sugar.  I think the way to get thin is to reverse that.  Once you learn how insulin, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol work you have to do low carb.  It only makes sense.  I should say I think it makes the most sense because it works with your body and how it naturally works.  My best friend just lost a lot of weight counting calories and I am not faulting his method.  It worked for him and I hope he keeps it off.  I have done the counting calories bit before and while some can do it I dare say it takes a lot of discipline to stay with it.  I usually got sick of it after being constantly hungry for weeks on end.  I also always did it with the idea I could go off it and eat normally again.  I like low carb because I can eat until I am full.  I can feel normal and not hungry all the time.  I do have some critisisms of low fat and low calorie diets but I will save that for another time maybe.

By next week I hope to be started and I will let you know how it is going.  I guess I will see if it really does work. 

What's new

Many things are new in our life since I last posted here.  It has been about a year since my last post and the posts have been pretty few and far between.  Sorry about that faithful reader(s).

My wife is once again pregnant and this time things seem to be going much better.  We are currently taking a birthing class using the Bradley Method.  That is basically an all natural method that focuses on just doing things the way God intended.  I like that concept a lot and I think it gives my wife a lot of comfort which is most important to me.  Well that and it is very safe for the baby.  It isn't some crunchy have your baby in a tent kind of thing.  This was developed by a doctor in the 50s and many of the standard practices in delivering babies these days had their rebirth in the Bradley Method.  It is also true that there are a lot of hospital practices I don't totally agree with.  This method is a hospital method of child birth and honestly it is just based on common sense.  Nothing more.  I will let you know how it goes but so far so good. 

I did want to say that I don't fault hospitals for doing things the way they do.  They are trying to help you while protecting themselves which is fine.  That is the nature of providing a service which is exactly what they are doing.  I just think that ultimately the decision belongs to us as it does in any health care situation.  I may find when we get there that they are very open to that mindset and honestly I think they will be.  I just want to make sure we are of that mindset as well. 

In other news I am preparing to lose weight again.  I have done this before and lost a lot of weight.  I think my record was 75lbs.  This time though I am doing it for better reasons.  Here are a few important steps I am taking.

1.  I am not just doing this to see how well I can do. I am instead setting a goal with the idea of achieving it.  That brings me to my next step.

2.  I am mentally preparing for this.  I am doing this by thinking thin.  I keep thinking of those great shirts I have in my closet that I can't wear anymore and imagining myself wearing them again.  I sometimes imagine what it would be like to be thin, look thin and feel thin.  I am trying to mentally prepare to be a thin person.  I have never tried this approach before but I think it is part of being mentally prepared to make a life change like diet. 

3.  I am trying to exercise more but not too much more.  Two hours a day in the gym is great and I actually enjoy that but honestly how realistic is that.  Long term that probably isn't going to happen.  Especially with a child on the way.  I did that once for a month or so since I have been married and I felt like I never saw my wife.  Our time together is too little and precious as it is.  So I am trying to walk more.  I walk on my break at work and may start doing that on my lunches some days.  I also want to start walking (with my wife) after work for a half hour or so. I am thinking I might try riding my bike to work after I get more in shape.  There are a few decent hills so you really need to be in good shape to do that.  I also have my weights out and plan on doing a little bit of weight lifting a few times a week.  So the idea is not to start something you can't keep up.  The idea is to do something realistic.  I don't need time constraints to destroy my weight loss plans and I don't need to regain it all after I lose it.  

4.  I am physically preparing (so to speak) by doing a lot of research.  I am reading, watching videos and trying to learn how our bodies work.  What foods do I steer clear of till I am thin and what ones can I eat.  I am trying to figure out what the best diet approach is to make sure I have the best possible chance to succeed in my goal.  Success is not just losing the weight but keeping it off.   I am also physically preparing by going through our cupboards and getting rid of the foods that I think will not be good to have around in a few months.  Not just sweets but I am also getting rid of the pasta and rice.  Basically  starches and sweets.  Those don't need to be a temptation later on.  Let's just eat them up now so we don't waste money but not replace them. 

I have a son on the way and I want to be the kind of dad that can do physical things with my son.  Play catch, ride bikes, throw the frisbee etc...  I also want to feel better, look better and improve my health.  Losing weight is very tough and I know  I will need a lot of support and encouragement.  Not to mention some help from above.  I want to track my progress here in this blog and use it as a tool.  Wish me the best!

(no subject)

With more fanfare and frenzy (by the media) than I have ever seen before Apple recently announced a new product called the iPad.  It would have been hard to miss this if you pay much attention to the news.  The build up was giant and so were/are the expectations.  The announcement has been made and the product will soon release.  It looks like it will be another really great product from Apple.  I say that admitting the jury is really still out.  I mean I haven't used it and while it looks great initially time will tell. 

What gets me is the criticism that some people have of Apple's products just because they are made by Apple.  It could be the greatest product the world has ever seen and they would find some criticism of the product that is perhaps minor but would make it out to be a major fault with the product.  The part of this that really makes it ridiculous is that while criticizing the Apple product they will tout how great a product is that is actually considerably inferior.  If hi def, stereo TV was made by Apple they would have something negative to say about it while claiming they love their black and white lo def sets.  I can hear it now..."it is too expensive"..."who has room for a TV that big?"...."remote controls just get lost"..."color and hi def are nice but not practical"..."why do I want to spend that on a TV when I can get a black and white one for a tenth the price"..and on and on.  Maybe if these comments were buffeted with some compliments to at least suggest balance or objectivity it would be different but they rarely are which just to me illustrates a subjective conclusion.  For me when I see a lot of bias in someone's opinion it just makes me lose respect for their opinion.  Not because they can't be biased if they want to be.  Simply because bias is rarely backed up with significant credible evidence to support it. 

Joy and Sadness

The last weekend of October I decided to take my wife somewhere overnight as a special treat for her birthday.  I knew it had to be a place that was reasonably priced but also close to things that she would like to do.  The place we stayed also had to have a swimming pool and hot tub.  The last time I stayed in Bar Harbor I was surprised at how hard it was to find places I deemed reasonable to stay.  I found a nice place but it had no swimming pool or hot tub.  A search online I did this year seemed to point to spending a lot of money to get that.  So I thought I would look in Ellsworth instead.  I wasn't dissapointed at all.  I got a nice room at the Holiday Inn there which was in the middle of everything.  We had lots of good food choices and the hotel had the swimming pool and hot tub.  What's more the price was right.  Not to mention this place was actually very nice.  I was pleasantly surprised with everything.  We also discovered Helen's restaurant in Ellsworth which is a must stop from now on.  If you like pie this is your place.  Their pumpkin pie was the best I had ever had in a restaurant.  We also went to Schoodic Peninsula area of Acadia National Park.  What an amazing place.  It is Janine's new favorite place.  We sat for hours on the rocks and watched the giant waves come in.  These are the biggest I have ever seen in Maine.  The sounds that come from waves like that are almost impossible to describe.  It is just a unique thing to witness that video can do no justice to. 

While on this trip my wife shared with me that she thought she could be pregnant.  Of course we weren't sure and outside of a pregnancy test there was no way to know.  In fact it was so early that it seemed silly to do a test.  It had only been a few days since a missed cycle.  Most people say you must wait a few weeks at the earliest to tell.  As the weekend went on she started to feel differently.  She kept mentioning how she felt like she was pregnant.  We both chalked this up to a cold she was recovering from at the time.  Her symptoms were ones I had felt a few months earlier during a cold.  Even so she couldn't stop mentioning it.  By the time the weekend was over she was convinced.  I was convinced she had talked herself into believing it.  The next day she bought a test desiring piece of mind.  The test showed that was was indeed pregnant.  I didn't know what to think of that.  How could that be right so early?  She went to her doctor who said it was crazy for him to even do a test because there was no way to tell. After the blood test he returned with some egg on his face as he told her she was indeed pregnant.  How did she know?  I was blown away she knew.  My first reaction was happiness blended with a lot of surprise and almost disbelief.  A few days later my mind which was so convinced she wasn't finally relented and the full joy of her pregnancy hit me. There was so much to do and we would certainly have to move and plan for her to be out of work.  I didn't know how we would do it but I knew I would work night and day to make sure that our child would have a good upbringing and that my wife would be able to care for the child at home.  In the coming weeks we told close friends and as anticipation grew we told everyone.   We wanted to wait till 12 weeks but we only made it to about 8 weeks.  We tossed around names.  We never decided on any but I came up with many good joke names.   Two of them that stuck a little were Ebenizer for a boy and Mehitabelle for a girl.  

As we neared Christmas we prayed at least daily that the Lord would keep our child and that there would be no problems.  Being an older couple we were warned in person and in print that our chances of problems such as miscarriage, birth issues and even down syndrome were increased.   Even so every week we counted off was one week closer to dodging all the bullets and a 10 week visit to the OB/GYN couldn't have gone better.  We couldn't help but feel a special connection to Christmas and the birth of Christ as we were also pregnant. 

On a one week visit to Michigan to visit her in laws at Christmas what I can only describe as tragedy struck.  I must warn you the remainder of the is paragraph may contain some information that is too graphic for some.  The Sunday night before Christmas my wife came to me and told me she had started to bleed a little bit.  We had read and heard from many that this can happen and even though I tried to console my wife she was worried.  I just encouraged her to take her mind off it and to the best of my knowledge she did the best she could.  During the day on Monday she was gone with her mother.  When she got home that night she told me she has continued to bleed and was worried because it was now starting to turn bright red.  This obviously indicated fresh bleeding.  I don't recall when exactly but I know we placed a call to the OB/GYN that night.  Our lady was on call and she called us right back.  She told Janine that it could be the start of a miscarriage but that there was no way to know and that it could be fine as well.  She said if it is going to happen it will happen and that there is nothing that can be done about it.  She said try to relax and not think about it and just live life.  She said not to change any plans or worry about it because it wouldn't change anything.  We went out to visit friends of hers that night and had a nice time.  I was unaware at this point that my wife was starting to feel a good amount of pain with the bleeding.  The bleeding was also increasing.  At this point I tried to just think positively but couldn't help but start to believe that this was the start of a miscarriage.  She was sobbing off and on and I tried to console her and was just tried to beleive it was going to be ok.  At this point I started to think maybe we should go to the hospital to get checked out however we agreed after talking it over that we would see how things felt in the morning.  Through the night my wife experienced a lot of pain and bleeding.  I kept praying that this would pass and that this was just a bad part of the nausia she can been experiencing for months at this point.  I am sure many can understand how hard it is to see your loved one in so much pain.  Even so she was able to sometimes find relief and even sleep though part of the night.  At 3am she got up and was in the bathroom for a while.  I listened carefully as I lay awake to see if she needed me.  She returned to bed and while I was able to sleep off and on she apparenly lay awake in pain.  I asked her many times if she was ok and she assured me that while it hurt she thought she would be ok.  At about 6am she went again to the bathroom and in a few moments I heard her cry out loudly.  I ran to her knowing it had happened.  I found her in the bathroom and just grabbed her and held her trying to console her.  I asked what I could do and she said just stay with her which I did.   In not long she felt a huge need to use the toilet for it's indended purpose (mind you that is where she was sitting).  She asked me to help her to another bathroom not wanting to do that on top of the fetal tissue that was now in the toilet.  I was able to help her there and stay with her.  She had a hard time walking.  Her face full of pain and tears and blood had spattered in many places.  She wrapped in a towel so as not to bleed on anything while we went to the other bathroom.  We got to the other bathroom and I stayed with her while she was just inside the door of the bathroom.  I got her a bowl because she was getting sick while all this was happening.  The mental horror of what had happened was truly matched by the physical.  I can honestly say this was the worst day of my life.  It would be nearly 2 hours before she was in any condition to go to the hospital.  We called her OB/GYN again who told her that it seemed like she had had a miscarriage and that as long as she wasn't feeling light headed it was ok to wait before we went to the hospital.  In one of the hardest things I have ever had to do I had to retrieve the fetus from the other bathroom toilet and we were told we should take it in with us to the emergency room which we did.  I just knew I had to be strong for my wife even though I fought back tears on several occasions losing that battle a few times.  At this point her mother was up and was helping too.  Several times she wiped tears from her eyes as well and hugged me as we were both dealing with this and doing our best for Janine.  When we finally got to the hospital they confirmed the miscarrage after some tests.  Her mother and I took turns calling people to ask for prayers and to let them know what had happened.  

This was a very rough thing to have happened a few days before Christmas.  It was horrible, messy, loud, painful and traumatic.  I watched my wife go through contraction pain that is compared to child birth.  We were told by people in the emergency room that the best thing to do is talk about this.  Maybe that is why I write this.  We have found it helps to have people talk to us about it and ask questions.  The more you talk about it the more you just get it out.  Keeping it inside doesn't help.  It only helps to heal by letting it go and just talking about it to loved ones.  I have really appreciated everyone who has come up to me and actually spoken to me about it when they have had a chance.  It makes a huge difference.  Even if they just say they are sorry.  It helps.  The emails, cards, calls and even facebook entries have also helped.   We are putting all of those things in a special memory box and we have decided that our unborn child is named Mehitabelle Thompson.  It was a joke name but it is what we called her in lew of a name so we have decided that is the name.  Thatis her name in Heaven.  We hope to meet you someday.  We love you. 

Maine Vote 2009

I know there are a lot of ballot questions out there and you may not know how you want to vote on all of them. Well I thought I would put down my take and it may help.

QUESTION 1: People's Veto
Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?

My take: Yes. For many reasons really. How about the fact that as a society we should be focusing on why people are gay. This is a more compassionate approach to the situation of human homosexuality. How about the fact that the legislature rushed this through with almost no public input. There were 5 public forums all around the state regarding Plum Creek wanting to add a golf course to their plans. There was one regarding same sex marriage. How about the fact that gay marriage is one of the most significant cultural changes in American history and should be widely discussed and debated. How about the fact that as a nation we should try to be Godly and gay marriage is not allowed according to the Bible. Gay marriage is a significant cultural change. It is a debate that should be held at the national level. Highly trained, battled seasoned and paid activists are descending on to states like
Maine with huge blitz style campaign designed to change the laws and move on to the next target. Local people who have strong feelings on these issues have few resources to fight back. You can say what you want about out of state resources on the traditional marriage side but the fact remains that the gay marriage activists bused in paid supporters to work phone banks and to do community activism here in Maine. The traditional marriage side got out of state money too but the ground troops were almost entirely grassroots local people. Everything about the way the pro-gay people operated stunk and it really isn't the way I think democracy should be. There are more reasons I won't go into because there are more questions.

QUESTION 2: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax by an average of 55% on motor vehicles less than six years old and exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax?

My take: Yes. I am not crazy about the second part of this because I hate behavior taxes. Even so the first part is strong enough to vote yes on this. You may be interested to know that many states got rid of this tax decades ago. This is an old tax still on the books here in
Maine because we love to tax and spend. It is just another tax that keeps Maine in the dark to business and investment. This is the first step to getting rid of it.

QUESTION 3: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?

My take: No for now. I do believe in consolidating school districts and having fewer six figure salary superintendents in
Maine. This is one thing Baldacci did that I liked. It isn't perfect but it is a start and we have to start somewhere.

QUESTION 4: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?

My take: YES! TABOR is badly needed here in
Maine. We have a state government that just can't stop spending. Like a teenager with a credit card at the mall we need to stop this insanity. This may be the most important question on the ballot this year. For those that are interested TABOR simply keeps spending under control. It doesn't cut spending it just means voters must decide on increases. Most of the time in Maine we do vote to spend money. I have no idea what the anti TABOR people are worried about. If we can stop the growth of government in Maine we will go a long way to restoring Maine as a positive place to do business.

QUESTION 5: Citizen Initiative
Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?

My take: No I am not a medical marijuana supporter. I think systems like this have too much at stake. It is just a way to scam drugs for people. Does it help some people? I am sure it does. I have read that there are other drugs that can help people as an alternative to this. I say keep it illegal.

QUESTION 6: Bond Issue
Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?

My take: No
Maine doesn't need to spend more money right now. Maine should make road improvements part of the general fund. Instead we float bonds (loans) to pay for everything. Can you imagine how much money we are paying in interest at the state level every year. What a waste of money. If we budgeted properly there would be no need to float all these bonds.

QUESTION 7: Constitutional Amendment
Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time that local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions?

My take: No This is just an attempt to thwart the initiative process. That process is a way for the unrepresented to have a voice in
Maine. Something we need badly. Giving them more time to certify the signatures gives the campaigners less time to organize. While I might be in favor of a better process to certify signatures I think cutting the amount of time a campaign has to organize and inform voters is not my choice.

(no subject)

I know I haven't updated in a long time but that certainly doesn't mean there hasn't been a lot to update about.  There has been tons.  I just haven't had any time. Well now I will take a little time to catch some of you up if you hadn't heard.

Yes I got married.  The date was June 14th and I married the love of my life Janine Waugh.  We were married in Michigan and had our honeymoon there at a lake house.  Only my immediate family came with one exception of my best man Bill Batty who traveled out there on his own dime to be there for me.  What a guy.  I am still speechless when I think about it.  I will never be able to do anything for him to repay him for that act.  Her family came too and some of her extended family were able to make it.  A good friend of hers who acted as her bridesmaid also came.  We only had one best man and one bridesmaid.  We were married on Thumb Lake in Northern Michigan at a beautiful rustic log chapel.  It really was perfect.

With marriage came a move,
Yes I had lived in one location for pretty much my whole life and I moved in with my new wife.  We had previously chosen the apartment with the idea that it was ours.  I just wasn't living there yet because we were not married.  In a way it was a big adjustment and in a way it wasn't too bad.  I had been spending most of my time there for half a year anyway.  I had
a lot of my stuff already there.  It wasn't as bit a deal as I thought it would be.  

Her parents came for three weeks,
This summer shortly after we were married her parents came and stayed with us for three weeks.  They are really wonderful people and we had a wonderful time with them.  Some thought it was strange that we would have them with us so soon after being married but honestly it worked out fine.  In fact we were both sad to see them go.  They really made life a bit easier for a few weeks.  It was like a vacation for us because they kept the house.  We came home and could relax.  We didn't have to make dinner, clean up or do laundry.  They did it for us!  That was certainly nice of them and it allowed us to spend the maximum time with them.  While they were here we took a trip to Moosehead and saw 7 moose.  We also went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  While over there we went to the Flume Gorge which was amazing.  The only bad part of their visit was the fact that it rained almost the entire time they were here.  The weather this summer was just horrible as most people here will tell you.  We didn't get any really decent weather till August.  What kind of summer is that!  

We went back out there for a week,
We did our annual trek to Northern Michigan and had a great time.  We hung out at the lake most days but got into some of the local towns a few times.  We walked the breakwater in Petoskey and took a day to do Mackinac Island.  One of my personal highlights was the afternoon when I went over to Horton Bay.  I not only saw the Inn and Store that Ernest Hemingway visited but also met a younger man who ran the Inn with his dad.  His grandfather was Ernest Hemingway's fishing buddy and this guy's name was Ernest.  Wonder where he got that name?  The front room of the Inn was like a museum dedicated to Ernest Hemingway.  It was pretty neat and I must admit I could have talked to the guy all afternoon.  We were there with her parents and her brother and his kids.  It was a fun time.  On the way up there from the Detroit area we visited with her brother.  He went to Frankenmuth with us and had one of their famous chicken dinners.  It was a wonderful dinner but I forgot how expensive they are.  It was over $20 a person for the dinner.  Granted it was all you can eat and they gave you a lot of sides with it.  Even so I recall thinking it was really too much.  Even so you can't go to Frankenmuth without having a chicken dinner.  I don't even think there is another restaurant in that town.  It is THE thing to do there.  For those that don't know that is a town that is basically all Bavarian looking.  It is a bit like stepping into a village in Bavaria Germany.  It is pretty nice there really.  The town also happens to have the largest Christmas store in the world.  I have yet to really see that.  While in the Detroit area out there I got to have dinner at Buddy's Pizza which is probably one of my favorite pizza places.  It is in the top five for sure.  It isn't number one but it is two or three for sure.  

The family home is gone,
The last big thing that happened was actually a negative one in my mind.  That is my parents sold the house I grew up in.  They had owned it for 36 years and bought it six weeks before I was born.  My first steps, my first Christmas, my first birthday party, my first words, my first bike ride.... it all happened there.  I know most people can't relate to having that strong of a connection to a place but I certainly did.  I told my parents that it was the 5th member of the family before Janine came along.  I know my sister Carol was very saddened by this too.  I will admit I still get upset about it at least once a week.  Sometimes I can't sleep or I wake up in the night thinking about it.  I still have lots of dreams that take place there just like we still owned it.  I would really like to now build a house that will by my last house.  The place I live for the rest of my life.  I really want to regain that connection.  I certainly feel I have lost that because not only am I only living in an apartment but my parents also don't own their new place.  My sister also rents.  We are an all rental family.  How did that happen?  I believe very much in home ownership and very much want to own a home.  Janine has told me that as long as it is in an area she likes she wouldn't mind the LV Home that I love so much.  I have even recently discussed that house with a friend of mine who is a builder.  The house is a prefab that comes in a kit.  The kit contains the walls and roof along with the plans for the rest of it.  The exterior siding is included.  You just have to finish it.  You supply the slab or basement as well as the windows.  Not to mention the finish work inside.  I am told you can build one for about $100,000.  It would be basic at that price but it would get it done.  Then you can upgrade it from there.  I think I would do that.  Then I can take my time and really consider how we want to finish it.  I visited one in Southern Maine that had been built and it was over $300,000 the way they had it.  I think doing some of it myself and having my friend work on it is a cheaper way to do it.  My glass guy already told me if I help him do the glass he will give me a break on the price.  So it is doable.  

I think those are all the major updates lately.  Now that I am all moved and things are settling down for the winter I hope to get in here to update things more often.  

Bill's Quicky Roo 5

Assuming you must pick one:

1) Motorcycle or Jet Ski? Why?

I would pick a jet ski. The reasons are many but a few of them include the fact that I think (think that is) they are safer. You aren't dealing with constant oncoming traffic and people who don't see you. I also think that speed on the water can be more exhilerating and that means the jet ski would be more fun there too. I have a car I can drive on the road for road excitement. I have nothing for the lake or ocean. I also know Janine loves to go to the lake and while she swims the jet ski would give me something to do. I like to swim but not like she does. It is an easy choice. Ideally it would be able to fit two people.

2) Fruit pie or cream pie? Which kind? Why?

I would pick fruit. I don't know of a cream pie I actually like. I love lots of fruit pies. I love the seasonal aspect of fruit pies as well. It is one thing that makes the warmer months special. I love many kinds of fruit pies. Everything from strawberry to pumpkin.

3) Book or magazine? How come?

I don't have time to really read a book the way I want to. Not to mention many of my interests tend to lead more toward magazine reading. Having said that there are many magazines that aren't worth the outhouse if you get my drift.

4) Hot beverage or cool drink? What’s your fav?

I rarely drink hot beverages and don't get into it that much. I don't like coffee at all. So I basically drink tea and hot cocoa as hot beverages. I much prefer a nice cold glass of water and anyone who knows me well knows I love diet coke.

5) What’s on the grill on Monday–beef, pork, or fowl? What’s the specifics?

I am not sure if this was meant for Memorial Day or not but I would say normally I like a good old fashoned barbeque with hamburgers and hot dogs on that day. In fact I had such a hankering for hot dogs on Memorial Day that I went to Wasses only to find them closed. So while driving by on main st. I saw this new place had gone in where Freddie's used to be. It is Linda Bean's great lobster roll or something like that. She also has "maine hot dogs". I got a few. Not bad at all but they did put on way way too much relish. My mouth was so sour with relish I could barely taste the dog! Gotta ask them to go light. They were steamed dog with a very lightly toasted roll. Just enough to make the outside a bit crispy. The roll toasting was perfect. The dog was really good too. Just cut the mountain of condiments. I like ketchup mustard and relish to compliment my dog. Not overpower it. It wasn't better than wasses but it would do. The price was a dollar more than wasses which I thought was unfortunate. It wasn't THAT good. I also bought a whoopie pie for $2. When I got it I found out it was actually a mini whoopie pie that was literally bite sized. Two bucks? It was very tasty but should have been like $.75.

So if this question mean't what do I like to cook on the grill then the answer is beef. I love cooking steaks and beef grill stuff. I also like doing barbeque chicken on the grill but beef is where it is at. I occasionally do spare ribs on the grill too. I have a good recepie.

God vs Science

A friend sent me this little exchange and while the format is a bit made up the points made in this are really good. As humans we wrap our minds around ideas and think of things a certain way but sometimes that just isn't the cold hard facts of life. This little story offers some very compelling thoughts in my opinion.

God – vs – Science

The science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'


'Is God good?'

Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'


'Are you good or evil?'

'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment.

'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would.'

'So you're good...!'

'I wouldn't say that.'

'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal

him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'

The student remains silent.

'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'

'Er...yes,' the student says.

'Is Satan good?'

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. 'No.'

'Then where does Satan come from?

The student falters. 'From God'

'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'


'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these Terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes'

'So who created them?'

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

'No, sir, I have not.'

'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

'Yet you still believe in him?'


'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'

'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'

'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of his own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'

'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'

'And is there such a thing as cold?'

'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

'No sir, there isn't.'

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can reach up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees..'

'Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe The absence of heat. We cannot measure cold; Heat we can measure in thermal Units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just The absence of it.'

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can Have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no

Light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's The meaning we use to define the word.'

'In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so Your conclusion must also be flawed.'

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'

'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.'

'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'

'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'

'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that This process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are

You now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

The class is inuproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.

'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.'

The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter.

'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, Touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain; with all due respect, sir.'

'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'

Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it every day. It is in The daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a Word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

Weekend Wrap

I haven't done one of these in a while so I figured why not.

Friday night I was pretty exhausted from the week. We spent several nights up till nearly midnight working on wedding stuff. We made a lot of progress though. Got our wedding bands done as well as got our registries started and our invitations all done. That was last week though. So Friday night I took a nap at the apartment till Janine showed up which was about 7pmish.

Saturday I worked in the morning and then headed to the apartment. The plans were to go to Augusta for the day to work on some of our registry shopping. As a side note I wanted to mention that a wedding registry is not something we really wanted to do but people have been asking us to do that and as we already have most of what we need at the apartment now we figured it was just easier for people. If we got nothing at all that would be fine with us. We just want people to enjoy our special day with us. Getting gifts is nice but honestly it isn't what it is about. Back to the story.... By the time I got to the apartment we looked at the clock and decided that we would skip Augusta for saturday. The reason being is that we wanted to go to a concert in Camden that evening that started at 6pm. It didn't make sense to us to head out only to have very limited time and possibly have to go back the next day. So that was off. Instead we worked on our Walmart registry. Oh we registered three places thinking that would make it easier for people and also considering we have people in two states. In the metro Detroit area where much of Janine's family lives there are very few Walmarts around but they do have a lot of Target stores as well as Bed Bath and Beyond. So those are the three places we are registered at. So we worked on our WalMart registry Saturday afternoon. While there we ran into several people we knew including Sue and Julia Batty.

From there we went to dinner at Zaddicks in Camden. We both had the Nachos which were pretty good. They were not Sunfire Grill at all but they were not bad. Unlike the Sunfire Grill they gave you a ton of them though. We both got one and honestly we could have easily split one. I didn't come anywhere close to finishing mine and Janine didn't come as close as I did. From there we went to a new church housed in the old MBNA building. They hosted a concert by Aaron Shust with Andrew Carlton as an opening act. They are both national recording acts on a tour up here. I had never been to a concert like that but it was not bad at all. He did some songs I didn't care for and some I really liked a lot. That went for both of them actually. The whole thing was very much oriented towards the 20s to 40s crowd. As such it was energetic and modern as is this whole church. I talked to the pastor and he seemed really nice. It reminded me of the big contemporary churches out in the midwest I have seen. I know New England is very slow to adopt these things but it looks like it is starting to come to this area. I know a lot of people who dislike the litergy and boring aspect of church that would love going to a place like that. People who don't go to church now. This area could really use more diversity in worship.

Sunday we went to Littlefield in the morning and we started a new new series on peacemaking which looks quite good. He is getting several Sunday school classes together to put this on and it is a video and workbook series. After church we headed to Augusta and did some shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond and then headed to Ruby Tuesday for dinner. After that we spent a little time at Target too and then headed home. I was in bed by 11pm I think. A tiring weekend for sure.