Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Revolution

So 2007 is drawing to a close. Not really a year for the books, but we all survived to now, and 2008 is just around the corner. As is customary in this world, we all decide to start the new year right by deciding on some changes in our lives. And then in about 9 days, we abandon it all and go back to the box of Twinkies. Here at SALS, I know that there are major changes I can stand to make. I consider my changes, though, a revolution - an attack on the old to bring about radical change.

I have broken them down into four categories, and I get the feeling I will be rambling, so I will only post a couple today, and then the rest in a day or so. Well, do you ride the edge of your seat with bated breath wondering what my 4 changes are? No? Well, I'm telling you anyway. My life alterations will come in the sections of my weight, finances, emotions and spiritual life.

1) Lose weight. No brainer, huh? It is the most popular new year resolution, after all. And I, like others, could stand some waist trimming. We are the fattest nation, growing at an alarming rate. At my age, I don't need the extra health risks. Going to the chiro has helped my back a great deal, and I can only help it more by getting down near a more ideal weight. I figure I have at least 30 extra pounds I am carrying that diet and exercise will remove, and about 10 more pounds that will transform from fat to muscle. I am shooting for between 205-215. So no more snacking after 8pm. More bag lunches and less eating out. The benefit of that will trickle down (actual trickle down theory, not that fake Reagan one) into another resolution. Healthier snack foods like fruit, veggies, yogurt and more, instead of a trip to the vending machine. Walks with my wife and/or my dog around the block, or a stroll on the treadmill in front of the TV. Discipline - that is the key.

2) Lose bills/gain savings. Getting the finances tamed is another popular one, and I'm gonna snag it up. My goal in 2008 is to stop saying the phrase "Ok, who can we afford not to pay this month?" and replaced it with the phrase "where shall we go on vacation this year?". I am fortunate to have some very talented friends that kick major tail when it comes to budgeting. While I have touched on their knowledge in the past, I have not stayed on course and continue to stumble through pay weeks. Not only do I need to speak with them more, I need them to help me be accountable (pun intended) to keeping on track with the payments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Nothing like a kind, but firm, smack down for failing to keep within a plan. It's all for me and my family's best interest to live in our means. Another aspect of my financial is to have the ability to be more charitable. I am blessed with a roof over my head, food in my stomach. Sure - it's rough some weeks, but we make it. Some people need that help. My home could provide that, if I was better prepared. I have too much crap anyway.

So that's two down and two to go.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

800x600 = 480,000

So I was messing around with my layout yesterday. I'll be honest - I am not a huge fan of this template. Kinda boring. So I was hunting around for other templates, found one that was decent and was trying it out, but I'll need to tweak it some to make it work, and I really don't know if I want to deal with that. But in the process of uploading the new, and then going back my original layout, I realized this template is designed to be view on a monitor with the resolution set at 800x600. And that made me think - who really uses that setting anymore? For those of you reading this (all 3 of you - thanks!), for fun, flip your resolution back to 800x600 and enjoy the hugeness that is the My Computer, My Documents and Recycle Bin icons. Hurts, huh?

At home, my monitor is set at 1024x768, mainly because my nice 19 inch screen went belly up and I reverted back to a smaller CRT. At work, I have a nice huge 21" flat panel, so I run it at 1500x1400. And let me tell you, this blog runs down the middle of my work PC like the racing stripe on a '67 Shelby. Even the cheapest Dell comes with a 17" monitor and a video card capable of 1920x1440 (25% higher if you go digital).

I guess my thought is this: let's force 800x600 out. Think about all the other items that were forced out in the world: leaded gas, DDT (not DDP), dietary ephedrine, Chinese toys, and real Jingles! If we can get rid of 800x600, then our page width will no longer be hampered by the resolution of the viewer's monitor. RISE UP AND REVOLT!

Now playing: "International Pop Overthrow" by Material Issue
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You're a mean one....

'Tis the season. Lights, presents, cookies, TV specials, over commercialization. Oh, and some fat dude in a red suit.

Enjoy this fine rework of a Christmas classic. Well - a classic for my generation, as a Christmas season was not complete unless you watch the special on TV. Now, you can watch it any ol' time on DVD.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I ain't putting that in my mouth.

So my wife bought me a box of Jingles the other day for work. I have had them for a few days, and finally broke open the box today. Talk about disappointment. Those dumb elves have no clue how to bake. I guess they must have some baking skills, but no idea about the fine, delectable taste of Jingles. To be blunt - they screwed up BIG TIME! I have had a box of McDonald's cookies that taste better than these abominations. Calling these Jingles is akin to calling Domino's "pizza". I was all prepared for that delicious anise flavored biscuit to crunch and crumble in my mouth with the sweet shot from the crystals of sucrose. Instead, I attempted to stomach this illegitimate outcast from some 4th level of Dante's Hell. Utterly flavorless, unless you consider "crap" a flavor. And what's with the meager sprinkling of sugar? Is there someone who counts out the granules?

Here is a prime example where larger companies buying up smaller companies is a major mistake. Salerno knew what it was doing when it created the Jingles brand many a moon ago, along with it's other major contribution to snackage. Keebler seems to have just wanted the name, and thinks that shoveling dirt in a box marked "Jingles" will sell. Maybe at first you will have buyers, but you cannot change the recipe of a favorite that has been around over half a century. I don't recall hearing a major market fluctuation in the price of anise, so one is baffled as to why those dang dwarfs think they need to change what currently (well, current until the present nauseation that is on the store shelves) has been a great seasonal seller. Interesting enough, Kellogg's sold off the Salerno brand, but kept the name. Morons.

So if you seek the real Jingles, just be on the lookout for a little cookie sold as "Santa's Favorites", under the Salerno brand. I hear you can find them at Target, which curiously is the same thing I would like to put on that stupid elf tree.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The end of the world as we know it...

So the first significant snowfall has hit the Chicagoland area. And yet again, dang near every driver could not identify the strange tiny white objects falling from the sky, and drove as if some horrible was happening.

Funny - I have been in this area all my life. 4 plus decades. I don't remember a December without snow. And I see all the plates read Illinois. Kinda sad.

And what about SUVs? Just how poorly designed are they? I have only been in my wife's CR-V, and that thing is pretty stable. Is her car an exception to the rule? Are many of the others unable to grip the road and have rotten handling? I mean - there's slow, slow, and slow, but come on! It's the little pedal on the right, push it. Do they put bald tires on most SUVs? Maybe the front of the vehicle has some kind of oil spray jet, ala James Bond?

Now, I don't expect a person to operate their car at too high a rate of speed in bad weather (though if you really want to be noticed when you are going through an intersection, an angle works best). But doing 25 in a 60 on a road that looks like it rained - that's a little too cautious.