Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Support For Bear

I just wanted to say that I will assume Bear Grylls is authentic as he appears to be on TV. Many have said that one must be somewhat naive to believe everything we see him do on his show. Well, I have absolutely no survival experience, so there is no reason for me to have questioned anything that I have seen. I am not naive, I am someone who is entertained not only by Bear himself, but the things that he has done. Call me naive when I start interpreting Star Trek as though it were being presented as fact by the History Channel.

I do know that the show I watch can't or won't give me a completely accurate interpretation of the man himself, but I really appreciate the mentality and attitude he has throughout his experiences on the show. Reminds me of Frodo. I would like to think that my guess is an accurate one, and I'll cite the fact that he's also a motivational speaker to support my theory. I find Bear, if nothing else, seriously motivating.

I'd like to remind everyone that this is a man who broke his back in three places during a parachuting accident, and two years later, at 23 years old climbed Everest. He also served in the British Special Forces, crossed the Arctic, and recently broke a world record by flying a powered paraglider over Everest to raise $1,000,000 for Global Angels Charity. This information and more can be found at his website by clicking here.

Thank You, American Eagle

I must give a strong thank you to American Eagle Clothing company, or whatever their official name is. You are a savior to men with significant others everywhere. Your giant, comfy, leather chairs are what makes shopping in your store tolerable. I also appreciate the TV that shows what MTV really should be. I truly dislike your taste in music, but am certainly NOT complaining. Any form of distration is better than none.

I believe I spent about an hour in one of your big chairs yesterday, while my wife picked out over $200 in clothes. I can't understand spending that much money in clothes, but I do indeed spend that kind of money on toys for myself (new boxing gloves, stuff for my car, etc.). The part that makes it tolerable for my wife is that I do much of my shopping online. She can be anywhere and doing anything she wants while I shop. I do, however, have to be around my wife while she shops so I can tell her that yes, that is the cutest outfit ever.

This being the case, I must say that because of your chairs and TV's, I will always choose your store first. Now, if Banana Republic would only catch on...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Getting Ready to Weigh In at 145

This is the guide I'm using to get down to 145 for NE Grappling V. It was written by Brian McLaughlin using several other sources, I'm sure, but he's the one from whom I acquired it so he gets all the credit that I can give out for it. Here it is!

How to lose a ton of weight really quickly

OK, here are the ground rules:

#1 – FIBER is your FRIEND! You should be getting a ton of fiber in your diet, fiber helps make you feel full and regulates your insulin levels. Ideal sources of fiber include

Orchard fruit such as apples, oranges peaches, apricots, plums and prunes

Green vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, string beans, asparagus and spinach

Berries such as blue berries, straw berries, and black berries

Another great source are high fiber / low carb peta breads (I will show you the type I eat in class)

These foods can and should be the main source of energy in your diet eat as much of them as possible. You should also add a fiber supplement, I use Psyllium husk. Start with one teaspoon daily and eventually build to one tablespoon.

Fiber absorbs fluids so remember to drink plenty of water during the day to compensate for your increased fiber.

#2 – Understand the GI index and how to use it. The goal of our weight loss plan is to keep well regulated insulin levels. We do not want our blood sugar levels to spike. When your insulin spikes your body thinks there’s plenty of energy readily available and that it should stop burning fat and start storing it. – VERY bad.

Foods that will make your insulin levels spike and must be completely eliminated

Rice, potatoes, bread (with the exception of special made low carb high fiber varieties), pasta, high fructose corn syrup, tropical fruit, sugar (except that from fruit mentioned above), candy and soda

The vast majority of foods you eat should be low on the glycemic index. These foods have a negligible effect on your glucose levels and keep you in a fat burning state while giving you the energy to train and recover.

Generally low carb or high fiber foods fall into this category. Vegetables, fruits (those I mentioned), nuts, beans, and meats are all low GI and should be consumed in place of high GI foods.

If you get a sweet craving drink diet soda or some other kind of artificially sweetened food – NO SUGAR
#3 – Know the facts on fat

You need to consume fat in order to keep yourself functioning correctly. There are good fats and bad fats – good fats are mono and poly unsaturated.

These come from nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds. Olive, fish, and flax seed oils (you should supplement with fish oil daily to get your essential fatty acids) and coldwater fish. Each as much as you wish from this group, its not uncommon for me to eat several pounds of pistachios in one sitting when I get a snack craving.

The worst fats are “Trans fat” which is found in processed foods such as cakes, pastries, TV Dinners, fast food, chips and junk food in general, These are forbidden in even the smallest of quantities.

Another group of bad fats are saturated fats which are solid at room temperature. These are found in butter, red meat, junk food, and certain dairy products.

I try and limit my saturated fat intake, but not to a ridiculous degree. Eggs have some saturated fat but I eat them all the time, once in a while I’ll add some 1% milk to a fruit smoothie, or sprinkle some part skim mozzarella cheese on a salad. You can have some saturated fats, but don’t go overboard.


The reason most people don’t stick to diets are that they just get hungry and pig out. You should be eating 5-6 times a day and always eat until you are fully satisfied. So long as the food you are eating is good then the quantity isn’t really important. I would rather you work out more than eat less.

#5 – Condiments

Stick to things without added calories such as mustard, hot sauce, garlic, and soy sauce. Avoid dressings, barbeque sauces, syrups, and any other mystery topping.

#6 – Cheating

Allow yourself one day every two weeks to eat whatever you want. Just make sure you only do it once every two weeks. Don’t weigh yourself the day after you cheat, only step on the scale again after a day of dieting to avoid freaking out.

#7 – Weighing

Get an accurate scale and weigh yourself every day first thing in the morning, clothes off, after going to the bathroom (before eating or drinking). This is the ONLY time you should ever step on a scale because it controls for digestion and water intake. If you weigh yourself during the day then you will not get an accurate picture of your weight loss and risk obsessing over normal weight fluctuations.

#8 – Cardio

You should be doing 10-15 minutes of cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and at night after your last meal. This will help get at your reserve fat stores and will make your weight loss more significant. I usually suggest a mile jog or jumping rope.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Car Update...

Just in case anyone was wondering what was going on with Carol's new car...Hudson Valley VW told us that, contrary to what they had told us earlier, the car would have a couple hundred miles on it, and the earliest they could have gotten it was about a week later than what they told me originally. Fed up with all the BS, Carol decided to wait until the '08s come out and get what she wanted with 0 miles on it. What a giant pain in my ass this entire ordeal has been. I feel bad for Carol also, who was charged up pretty good to get a new car. Now she has taken it upon herself to wait so that she doesn't have to deal with this crap. Good for her, but a shitty situation nonetheless.

How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked...

For those of you who haven't seen it before...

My Rental

So, the other day I had to bring my A4 in for routine maintenance. The project was supposed to have taken a day or two, but only ended up being a couple hours. Being that it was supposed to take much longer than it did, they gave me a rental car. Those of you who know me well will know my great disdain for higher end cars that are made into SUV's and wagons. Well, I figured I post a few picks of the rental car they gave me...

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Time to Celebrate!

Not only is today Carol F. Janicik's Birthday, but its is also the day she should henceforth be known as Carol F. Janicik, R.N.!!!!

So, Happy Birthday to the most wonderful woman in the whole world, and congratulations on getting your new title! It should be known, that not only did Carol pass, she aced the test! There was never a doubt in anyone's mind!

A huge round of applaus is due, and a big fuss will be made in her honor. Be sure to pass the word along, and send your congrats to Mrs@Janicik.com.

She has even more to be excited about as well! While we're celebrating, her brand new 2007 Beetle is on its way, and our 2 year anniversary is Monday! How does she handle the excitement?!?!

One more time, and for the record...


Thursday, July 12, 2007


This is our cat Billy. I swear that these are not scripted. I was working at my desk at home and she climbed up the back of my chair, and then onto the top of my head. She just chilled up there for a few minutes, so I thought I'd shoot a couple pictures from my phone, since it was all I had nearby. The camera on my phone is messed up, and I'm waiting for my replacement to arrive so the pictures aren't of the best quality, but here they are anyhow. Enjoy!

Buying Carol's New Car

As some may or may not know, I am buying Carol a new car. A new Beetle, in fact. She has had one for years and it has been very good to us. It has over 180,000 miles on it, is almost 10 years old, and everything is fine except for the air conditioning. What is specifically wrong with the A/C we don't know, but the estimate we got from Hudson Valley VW was that it could get upwards of $2,000 (half of that to fix a problem that needed correction before they could even attempt to diagnose the A/C itself...long story). We weren't prepared to pay half of that on that car. So...

Carol and I decided that it was time for her to get a new car. The only thing she even wanted to consider (other than a brand new TT) was a new Beetle. The place I go to get my car serviced is Danbury Audi, I figured we would simplify things by buying her car at Danbury VW since they are right next door to each other. As it turns out, that was a mistake.

We found a couple of cars that they had on the lot that Carol was interested in. There was a used GLS, and a new GLS. For those of you who don't know, the GLS model comes standard with Leather and a few other bells and whistles. For those of you who don't know Carol, MOST of the time she instinctively chooses the most expensive of gifts, clothes, shoes, purses, coats, etc. Thankfully, one of Carol's most expensive desires is quite modest. First of all, she wants a Beetle. Good for me. Secondly, she hates leather and sun roofs. Great for me! So, instead of going with what they had on the lot, we told the salesperson exactly what we wanted and she went in search of it.

At this point, everything seems to be going fine. The salesperson called us back in a few days and told us that she had found the car. Of course, she wouldn't tell us where it was. I said OK, go get it and I put down a deposit. After a few days, I wondered how many miles would be on it if it would be driven instead of trucked to Danbury. She informed us that it would indeed be driven instead of trucked, but she couldn't tell me how many miles would be on it because she didn't know where it was. I expressed that I wasn't comfortable with that, and the response I got was an attempt to throw me on a guilt trip because the salesperson had "jumped through hoops" to get me the car. I chose not to respond to that indiscretion (which would have been an strong expression of bold-faced disconcern), and moved on. She did assure me, however, that it would only have somewhere between 100-150 miles on it. I was not happy with this, but after doing some research on the web I found this to be somewhat common. I acquiesced, and Carol and I began to get a little pumped up about getting her the new car.

Nearly a week has gone by, and Carol's birthday is tomorrow (Friday). I was hoping to have it by then, but Saturday ("hopefully") was the best outlook the salesperson could give me. Wednesday rolls around and, knowing that I wanted to get the car as quickly as possible, the salesperson called me up (on her day off, which she later took the privilege of trying to make me feel guilty about) so we could meet and sign some paperwork. I thought that was great, as I expected that to help speed up the process. *On a side note, attempting to make me feel guilty about something that I wouldn't have felt guilty about on my own is a fruitless endeavor. I'm proudly one of the least compassionate people you'll ever meet. Only Carol and Labs can attest otherwise.

What I didn't know about the paperwork the salesperson was going to have me sign was that NONE OF IT WAS COMPLETED. Two of the forms that she had brought to me were the DMV registration form, and a form that expressed my acceptance of the car and the mileage. Her intention was to have me sign BLANK paperwork.

Am I mad, or is it mad to sign blank paperwork?

Who would sign a blank check? Who would sign something without reading it? Signing something with the intention of having someone add to it is, in effect, signing something without reading it, no?

I didn't sign a damned thing. Her response was that such a process is common and that she does that kind of thing all the time.

WHAT?! You mean to tell me that it is common practice for people to sign a contract binding them to the purchase of a car without knowing the mileage or the VIN?

I ended the meeting as quickly as possible. She apologized for having to make the fruitless trip out to meet her. I brushed this all off as insignificant because I wanted to end her presence in my field of vision. I walked out, called a few people I trust to make sure I wasn't losing my mind by thinking that I shouldn't sign binding, yet blank, paperwork. After I was reassured, I went home to have a glass of wine and calm myself down.

On the way home, I got a followup call from a salesperson at Hudson Valley VW, who I had spoken to as well as Danbury VW regarding finding the car for Carol. In retrospect, I should have just went with them. It wouldn't have been an out of state deal, we've purchased 3 cars from that dealership in the past, and we've never had a bad experience with them. The salesperson told me he also could have the car (the same exact color, model, etc.) by Saturday (3 days time!) and IF I WAS COMFORTABLE WITH IT the car would be driven in, but would still have less than 50 miles.

I slept on it. The first thing I did when I woke up (before I got out of bed) was call Danbury VW and cancel the order. I knew that today was going to be the day that they sent a driver up to get the car. Since they hadn't already done so, they've incurred no cost and have no right or reason to withhold my deposit. I had called before the dealership opened, and therefore left a message.

At 9am, when they did open up, the phone calls began. In the span of 30 minutes, I got 5 phone calls (I answered none of them, I was showering and getting ready for work). Two from the salesperson, two from the sales manager, and one that I'm not sure of because there was no message but was from the same phone number. I returned the call to the manager on my way in and we proceeded to argue about why I didn't want the car. I explained everything as I did here (without disclosing that I was dealing with another VW dealership), and the response I got was an expression of disbelief that there wasn't any other underlying cause to my decision. I was told that attorneys purchase cars from him in the same way (signing blank forms). I replied informing him that what others do is irrelevant.

What I should have said is "You're lying when you say you sell cars to attorneys all the time. There is an Audi dealership right next to you, and a Porche dealer next to them. You sell Volkswagens. Furthermore, even if I did believe you, I would want a list of every attorney you've sold a car to in such a way so that I may be sure not to allow them to represent me!"

Anyhow, I summed up my reasons as being uncomfortable with the car and the mileage to be put on it, and my distrust after being encouraged to sign blank forms. The manager again said that he felt there was another underlying cause, these couldn't be the reasons why. Not wanting the car, and not trusting someone I was about to give $20,000 dollars to is reason enough for me, and I left it at that.

Anyhow, I'm expecting a call from Hudson Valley VW today. I don't expect any snags along with way with these guys. To buy a VW, I never should have considered anyone else.

Anyway, that's my story. I expect (and hope) that there will be nothing of interest to say on the matter from here on out. If there is, here's where you'll find it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Google Easter Eggs

Neato...also try gizoogle...