Doug Lerner reports from Tokyo and St. Louis, and points beyond…

Archive for May, 2007

More Hao-chan Pipe Cleaner Action

He is a very busy bird…


Hao-chan loves pipe cleaners

My last Hao-chan video before leaving for Narita airport.


Jerry Falwell

Usually one doesn’t like speaking ill of the dead, but I think it’s worth taking a few minutes in order to make an exception for Jerry Falwell.

Actually, let’s let Falwell speak in his own words:

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, “You helped this happen.”

— Rev Jerry Falwell, blaming civil libertarians, feminists, homosexuals, and abortion rights supporters for the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, quoted from John F Harris, “God Gave US ‘What We Deserve,’ Falwell Says,” The Washington Post (September 14, 2001)

I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!

— Rev Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, 1979 pp. 52-53, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.

— Jerry Falwell

If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth …

— Jerry Falwell, “Moral Majority Report” for September, 1984

The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.

— Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.

— Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

I listen to feminists and all these radical gals – most of them are failures. They’ve blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they’re mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They’re sexist. They hate men – that’s their problem.

— Jerry Falwell

Now the time has come for this unbridled man of hate to let us all rest in peace.


Doug’s Diet – Phase II

Doug’s Diet – Phase II

After 700 days I have decided, this Friday morning, to make the first actual tweaks to my diet!

After all, being on a plateau (or weight creeping up) for about 6 months now should be an indication to anybody (except maybe George Bush) that the current strategy isn’t working anymore. 🙂

I’ve got to get rid of these last 10-20 lbs!

After 700 days of not of not going off my diet even one time I have been hesitant about making adjustments. But I have given this a great deal of thought and think I found an adjustment I can be confident of sticking with. And I really should be more confident of my ability to deal with minor changes at this point!

Here is what I decided to do starting today – the usual “weigh-in” day of my diet week:

Daily Net Calorie Limit (after exercise calories are deducted)
Old Daily Limit: 1700 calories
New Daily Limit: 1500 calories

Reasoning: My current daily limit was fine when I first started my diet. But when I first started it didn’t matter if I was a bit off when calculating my BMR because I had so much to lose. It is clear that I am now eating too much to lose any more so I must reduce my daily net calorie limit. Duh.

Note: This happens to also be closer to what Weight Watchers recommends I set as my daily target caloric limit: 28 points x 50 calories/point = 1400 calories.

Weekly Bonus Calories
Old Bonus: 1000 calories
New Bonus: 1700 calories

Reasoning: Instead of reducing my daily calories by just 100 calories I reduced it by 200 calories. But I’m really only losing 100 calories (a very minor tweak!) because I’m taking the other 7 x 100 = 700 calories and adding it to the bonus. So I’m just spreading it around differently. There are two reasons for this: (1) Having the slightly lower daily limit is more of a reasonable target and should result in generally lower weekly caloric averages because I tend not go so much into bonus and (2) having the higher bonus there is very reassuring. Like “Mamas Bank Account”.

As with all these strategies, good dieting rules are a bag of psychological tricks designed to make it easy to stick with. Starting the week with a higher bonus will help a lot counter-balancing the lower daily target limit.

Note: This also happens to be almost the same as the Weight Watchers free points for the week, which comes to 35 points x 50 calories/point = 1750 points.

Exercise Calories
Old Way: 100% credit for all countable exercise calories expended (walking, cycling, etc.)
New Way: 50% credit for all countable exercise calories expended

Reasoning: This one I gave a LOT of thought to. By deducting just 50% of my exercise calories from what I’ve eaten each day (instead of 100%) I accomplish various positive things: (1) The obvious one is that exercise will tend to drive weight LOSS more, rather than just being a counter-balance to what I’ve eaten. The more I exercise, the more POSITIVE weight loss effect there should be. (2) Because I’m getting less “credit” for exercise there should be positive incentive to exercise MORE – so I can eat more. 🙂 and (3) Doing it this way provides a “margin of error” for calorie (eating and exercise) calculation/estimation errors that might creep into the diet.

Note: This too is closer to the way that Weight Watchers calculates “activity points”.

It is interesting to note that my own independent conclusions about daily caloric intake, weekly bonus calories and exercise calories all result in my personal diet moving closer to the Weight Watcher’s plan.

Anyway, I’ve begun my “Diet Phase II” as of today. I’ll let you know how it goes!


An Old Shirt

I’m cleaning up my house (I do this once every 10 years or so, whether it needs it or not) and came across this pre-diet shirt from early 2005. 🙂



700 Days

Well, I’ve been on my diet 700 days now without going off even once.

The good news is that I’ve lost and kept off about 42 kg = 92 lb. Also I feel great and I’m wearing normal clothes sizes, etc. Neighbors often do a double-take and say they didn’t recognize me at first.

The frustrating news is that my weight has hovered around 83-84 kg for months now and that I am actually a few kilograms heavier than my low beginning-of-the-year weight of 79.8 kg and just can’t seem to lose any more weight lately.

I would really like to lose another 10-20 lb because I’m still overweight.

Anyway, just sticking to things as best I can…


Hao-chan sings himself to sleep

In this 90 second video, you can hear Hao-chan definitely singing for the first time, proving he’s a guy bird. And he seems to be falling asleep at the same time…


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