Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Futurethought: Tagging Fat

I'm sitting at my desk and I'm contemplating my body fat.

(eats another cookie)

This got me to thinking:  How much of this cookie am I going to retain?

I know that we're just scratching the surface regarding nanoscience and radiotags.  But what if we could actually determine precisely where our excess body fat came from?

Right now, we just assume that the body fat is equally composed of these unused sugars - our body just manages to find empty pockets to store fat in (think a biological equivalent of an episode of "Hoarders: Buried Alive").  But are some fats more-prone to storage and less-prone to burning than others?

Tangent:  I hear a lot of dietary talk about how a person gained four pounds and immediately tries to recall (guess, really) where the diet failed.  "It must have been the mayonnaise I had on that sandwich last Thursday".

uh-huh.  okay.

I've observed that my own weight can fluctuate five pounds, depending on the time of day I step on the scale.  So, whenever I really want to make myself feel better, I weigh myself at 6:30AM.  After dinner, I can step on the scale again, see that I'm 5 pounds heavier, and now the ice-cream doesn't seem so appetizing.  Go to bed, wake up the next morning, hop on, and I'm back to my initial weight.

First thing:  Weigh yourself the same way each time.  Your actions should be based on the best data you can get.  If you have a bathroom scale, use that exclusively.  Don't mix using the bathroom scale with the Wii Fit board and the cargo scale on the loading dock.  Same goes for time-of-day.  Be consistent.

Back on topic - My goal here is to be able to determine my body fat came from Dunkin' Donuts.  It won't stop me from going there, but it would make me feel better - proud in fact.  I want sponsorships for my flab.  If Goodyear can brand their spare tires, I want to do the same.

Alex, who is 15% donut

Saturday, June 22, 2013

How To Really Hurt A Guy

This won't be a lecture about pressure-points, nerve bundles, or physical pain.

This is about going after a man's heart.

Earlier today, Patrick Lovato diedHe would be the father of Disney celebrity Demi Lovato.  Demi's personal life has been well-documented to a fault in the media and, judging by her success, she's not letting it get in the way of her blossoming career.

What I did not know, because I do not follow Demi that closely, is that Patrick divorced Demi's mother when Demi was only two.  Since then, Demi has estranged herself from any contact with Patrick.  A recent quote from Demi:

“Sometimes there are people in your life that you have to cut out. It sucks when it’s your own father. But I know what’s best for me.”

True to her word, she (as far as we know), denied Patrick the contact that he wanted right up until his very end.

I consider myself really, extremely, astronomically lucky.  I continue to love my wife and have loved her for twenty-four years.  A lot of understanding, sacrifice, and compromise on both parts is needed for a relationship this strong.  I have two incredible children and wish to be with them every second of my existence - even when I don't.  The impact I have in their lives is significant and vice-versa. 

What really scares me is not having any of that.

I do not know what marital difficulties Mr. and Mrs. Lovato had.  Perhaps it was about money.  Maybe it was about infidelity.  People seem to run into these incompatibilities 49% of the time... 

But I do know that I would do anything and everything for my daughter's forgiveness.  The article states how driven Patrick was to get just a single phonecall from his daughter.  Perhaps the wound he left Demi just festered too long.  There was no perceived benefit that Demi saw in granting this man an audience.

Patrick is gone now.  Demi can continue with her career with this part of history out of her way.  Clearly, he left this world with some regret.  Hopefully, others will recognize this and try to make their peace with their loved ones before time runs out.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Being a Whisperer

I have this friend.  She is the best friend.  She has this quirky talent of finding very objectionable people and adjusting their attitudes.  "Troll Whisperer" and "Douchebro Whisperer" were just some of her nicknames.

I mention this today because I had just completed ordering a Triple-Play FiOS package from Verizon.  I've had Verizon FiOS for several years now and discovered a bundle that would give me more channels and faster internet speeds for the same monthly rate.  It's a minor shame that I had to find this out myself, but we can discuss broadband concierge services at a later date.

How does this tie in to my best friend?  Let's see how well I connect these dots.

We're all intimately familiar with telemarketers.  Those unfortunate souls who whore-out their work-hours by calling phone numbers and reciting a script trying to sell people things.  We're all intimately familiar with cable companies.  Those more-unfortunate souls who whore-out their work-hours by making us jump through hoops just so we can get online from the comfort of our own home.

Combine a telemarketer with a cable-company and you have a recipe for one of the most-hated individuals in existence.  There are several million stories of the hell people experience when interacting with their cable-company.

But realize this.  They aren't doing this to punish us.  They're doing this because research tells them it works.  They have a script that they read to you because the statistics prove that if you are asked to buy something three times, then you are very-likely to buy it - as infuriating as that sounds.  Even if you threaten to cancel your subscription by asking them NOT to sell you something, they will reply "I understand.  Let me tell you about our newest promotional package..." because EVERY manager above them knows the script is to be followed and zero-tolerance otherwise.

I could have completed my entire broadband upgrade online - but I decided to voluntarily interact with my cable representative.  In a way, I felt much like my best friend.  I knew this employee-of-Verizon was looking for another successful statistic.  I knew that I was a potential 2-year contract renewal.  I had this intrinsic value and I wanted to use it for the good of someone.  So, I sought out a sales rep.  We chatted about promotional packages and channel lineups while guiding me through webforms.

I got my package, the rep got his renewal quota, and I saved someone else 20 minutes of having to deal with this person.

Maybe there's a demand for this kind of service?