Don’t Mourn…Organize

One of the things that has been irking me recently is that people who support Trump and even some of those who didn’t, keep talking about the many protests around the country as if they are about “whining” or being sore losers.  That is a great way to shut down their voices.  Look I’m not one of those, “he’s not my president”.  For better or worse he is the duly elected President of the United States.  I will support his agenda…as much as Republicans supported Obama’s.  Obama won Electoral and Popular votes, and Republicans stymied him every chance, so should we.  Republicans threatened to not even allow Hillary if she was elected to appoint a Supreme Court Justice, I think we should too.

Getting back to what these protests are about.  It isn’t about the fact that we lost, it is about what we stand to lose with a Trump presidency.  Already there have been hundreds of hate crimes committed.  I shared the fear that children are feeling as related to me by my sister who is a social worker at an underprivileged school.

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The point of the protests is to let Muslims, Women, the LGTBIA community, Hispanics, African-Americans, and the WORLD, know that America may have made a mistake, but there are still friends and allies in this country.  These protesters got off the sidelines to let their community know that there are still people who will defend their right to exist in this country.  That hate may have won a battle, but it will not win the war, because it never has. Trump brought the KKK out of the woodwork and into the light, and it is these protesters who are going to ensure they have no safe-haven, not through violence but through ensuring their message remains one to be ashamed of.  That can only be accomplished by making your voice loud and heard.  You know, by taking to the streets in larger numbers than them.

It is, however, not enough to just protest.  This is where Republicans constantly beat us Progressives and Liberals.  They didn’t get the election results they wanted with Obama, so they set about trying to ensure it would be harder for his supporters to vote.  Long lines at the polls is not a symbol of how great our democracy is, though it is great to see so many people willing to wait to just cast a vote, long lines are a symbol of a failure of governmental efficiency.  Sadly, it is intentional on the part of certain people.  There were more polling places closed this election year and many had shorter hours.  That was by design.  I don’t believe the election was stolen from Hillary, but I do believe there is a movement to make it harder for the poor and minorities to vote, you know supporters of Democrats.

So we as Progressives and Liberals need to go to work.  Organize and fight back.  Not with violence as they have, but with institutional change.  We must keep our elected representatives in check.  We must run for local offices.  We must motivate our community to stand with us.  We must ensure that in two years Republicans lose the House and two years after that they lose The White House. I mourn for now, but as I said in my Facebook post, I’m getting my ass off the sidelines.

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Office Kitty

Our office cat is really smart.  He has trained me to open the door for him.  Here’s how it usually goes (and just did a few minutes ago).

I call him Pumpernickel Jazzpaws.
I call him Pumpernickel Jazzpaws.

He will walk outside my office and begin to meow.  I walk into the hallway and he makes me open the door to our storage room.  I believe this is his way of making sure I know he wants a door open.  Once I’ve opened that door he will meow at me and begin walking towards the back door.  Our office is located in a house that is zoned for office work.  So we actually have a backyard.  The garage has been converted into a mini warehouse and we have a warehouse manager working in that office; this is where the backdoor is located.  He walks me all the way across the house, meowing and looking over his shoulder to make sure I’m following.  Then he walks to the door, sits down in front of it, and waits for me to open the door.

He does this almost every day.  Since it’s hot in Texas we can’t open it all the time, because we have to leave it open, so there are times when I have to tell him no.  I assume during these times he feels that I’ve forgotten all the training we’ve gone through and that he’s disappointed in me.

It’s funny because he doesn’t ask our warehouse manager to open the door.  Though she’s sitting right there, he walks across the house and finds me.

He will also occasionally walk across the office to get me and make me follow him to the “living room” so that I may pet him there. Seriously.  He will walk into my office, meow his “follow me” meow and plop down in the middle of the floor so that I may pet him.  He is very spoiled.  I also think he believes he is my boss.

Has anyone else been trained by their cats?  Do you have an office pet, and does he run things?

Week off

I took a week off of the book tour because I went to lovely Playa del Carmen (near Cancun in Mexico). It was 90% business but the 10% fun was awesome. And since I enjoy my business, it was probably more like 100 percent fun. Such a great time and such great people. More energized than ever for the coming year. It’s going to be an amazing 2014.

Diabetes Update

I meant to post this update earlier, but just kept putting it off.  Back at the beginning of October I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  3 months later my glucose levels are practically normal.  I went from risk of everything bad  associated with diabetes, to “you should be totally fine as long as you keep up the good work”.

By the numbers:

Before: glucose 239 mg/dL
After: glucose 104
Normal (65 – 100)
 
Triglycerides: you don’t even want to know
After 119
Normal < 150
 
Before: Hemoglobin A1c 8.5%
After: Hemoglobin A1c 6%
Normal: (4.0 – 5.6)

It’s Just a Problem I Need to Solve

I did all that in 3 months.  I lost 20 pounds, feel better than I ever have in my life, dropped down to a size 32in waist in jeans (still tight, but give me a few more weeks) size medium in t-shirts (holy crap I haven’t worn those in years) and the ability to do more pull-ups than I ever have in my entire life (I’m not giving you the number because it’s still a ridiculously small amount).

How did I do this?  I just changed my diet and kept exercising.  I broke the problem down into 3 distinct goals that I gave myself 6 months to achieve.  I did that because I’m supposed to get my blood work done every three months (though after this next test I may be able to only have it done every 6 months – if I keep the numbers down).  For the first 3 months the goal was eliminate drinking, breads, and keep sugar under 35g per day.

Continue reading “Diabetes Update”

Goals for 2014

I really only have two personal goals for 2014.  One I want to read 52 books, and two I want to hit my new target weight of 185.  I also have one professional goal: create a program.

Read more Books

Based on my Goodreads stats I’ve read 28 books in 2013.  This is down from 30 in 2012 and 47 in 2011.  So I’m planning on pushing myself to read 52 books, or roughly a book a week.  I’ve got quite a few on my shelf to read, because even though I only read 30 books, I purchased a whole lot more.  A brief glimpse of the books I’ll be reading:

  • Zealot by Reza Azlan
  • The Consuming Instinct by Gad Saad
  • Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Etcoff
  • Drive by Daniel Pink
  • Quiet by Susan Cain
  • Just Babies by Paul Bloom

Not to mention I’m going to catch up on the multiple Robert Parker Series, Kathy Reichs, John Sanford, Robert Crais, and of course my Star Trek books.  I just need to make sure I read more than I purchase this year. Yeah, like that will happen. I currently own close to 850 books, Based on my purchasing history, I’ll hit 1000 books in 2016.  I need to purchase a house by then.

Get in Better Shape

2013 will be remembered by me as my big turning point.  It was the year I was diagnosed with Diabetes, the year I quit drinking, the year I tried (only tried for now) to become gluten-free.  I hit my target weight of 199, so now I’m aiming for 185 (a pretty good UFC weight class).  Part of me wants to set myself some crazy goal like, try out for American Ninja Warrior, and depending on how much I progress in 2014, I still might.

I started to get more serious about my eating in the last 3 months, but I still have a ways to go before I’d consider myself eating healthy.  I need to cut out red meat, go full gluten-free, and seriously make pizza a once-every-two-months treat instead of a comfort-food-when-I’m-depressed meal.

My biggest roadblock is that I need to get pumped about cooking.  I get home and the last thing I want to do is spend 30+ minutes prepping and cooking a meal.  Once I overcome that hurdle, there will be no stopping me.

Professional Life

I’ve learned quite a bit about databases this year.  My goal for 2014 is to create my own simple program.  I’ve got an idea for a simple asset-tracking program.  I’m learning PHP right now and hopefully by summer I can create this program and see how it works.  I just really want to see if I can do it.

So that’s my look forward to the coming year.  We’ll see how I do.  In the years that I’ve been writing these down, and publishing them I have to say I do try harder to achieve them, and I while I may not hit every goal, having something to aspire to really helps.

Hope everyone has a great 2014!