jmfargo: (me)
Let's pretend that I'm the 7th richest person in the United States. I was reading today about trying to put huge amounts of money into perspective and I want to play that game. This could get extremely long, so forgive me. I may even use a very rare lj-cut at some point.

Right now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the 7th richest person in the US, 13th richest in the world with a $27 billion net worth. Let's pretend all of that is liquid for a moment and that none of it is or can be used to make even more money. I now have $27 billion just sitting there, waiting to be spent. What could I do with it?

Well, for starters my favorite vehicle is the BMW Z3. That's about $18,000. It's not a super-luxury car that's going to cost millions of dollars but it's a fun little car that I could definitely enjoy. And hey, if I wanted to switch it out for a different one every month for the rest of my life that would only cost me about $10 million over the course of the rest of my life.

That's a different BMW Z3, purchased every month for the next 50 years for only .03% of my net worth.

Okay, so I have a car now. What about a house?

Well, I don't need much. 10,000 sq feet? A reasonable price would be $200 per square foot for some of the nicer areas of the United States, all the way down to $60 per square foot but let's go on the high end. My 10,000 sq foot "humble" home would cost me $2,000,000. If I want to build it from scratch let's up that to $4,000,000. Let's say $6,000,000 after I furnish it. Reasonable?

Great!

Now, I get bored pretty quickly so I'll probably need to build myself a new house every 2 years or so. 25 new homes, $6,000,000 each (because who wants to move the furniture from the previous homes? That's such a hassle! We'll just buy new furniture.). $150 million over the course of 50 years and in the end I have 25 10,000 sq ft houses, fully furnished.

I now have spent $160 million dollars over the course of 50 years. That is 0.6% of my net worth.

Let's get big, then. Let's go really big.

Let's buy an island. That's big, right?

This got really long. )

Here's what we end up with:

$13.5 Billion in Charitable Contributions
6 Caribbean Islands
A new home every 2 years
A new car every month for the rest of my life
A Yale education
Extremely fine dining for every meal for the rest of my life (personal chef/professional kitchen at my whim)
$1 billion left for my daughter when I die
New clothes every day for me and everyone in my family
My own private jet, probably several
Every video game ever made
Every movie on DVD
A full, high-end security detail to protect me and my family for the rest of my life
AND:
The realization that if it costs less than $10,000,000 the money doesn't even matter a little bit
For example:

  • Personal trainer

  • Fresh flowers delivered daily

  • Fully funding any kickstarter that catches my fancy

  • Lois' education

  • Live-in maid service

  • Buying land for every LARP I enjoy

  • and way more

jmfargo: (me)
I haven't talked about this much here or really anywhere online because it seems that every time in the past that I've talked about trying to change something in my life (especially my weight and health) I end up going back into my old habits almost immediately, making a lie out of everything I've just written. I've always posted in the past about how I'm going to try something new and I'm going to change my life and do all new things. I talk about what I want to do at the beginning and where it's going.

I'd like to talk about where I've been.

For almost exactly two months now I have been following a ketogenic style of eating: low-carbs, high fat, medium protein. I'm not debating the merits and I'm also not espousing it as something that everyone else should be doing. I'm just here to say that it's working for me and I'm very happy with it. I don't know that I'll ever go off of this but at the same time I'm not telling other people that they're "doing it wrong." What works for me may not work for you, or Bob. Whoever Bob is.

Since coming to Virginia I've had a problem: Back pain. I would wake up in the morning and take 10 minutes to get out of bed because every movement hurt. It felt like every joint in my back had cemented together and I had to break up that cement in order to stand. Oh, and that cement was full of nerve endings. This also, as I'm sure you can imagine, made sleeping at night difficult since I tend to toss and turn. Every movement sent shock-waves of pain through my body.

Seriously, it really was that bad. It was making me absolutely miserable and completely unhappy. I was at my wit's end and my doctor had absolutely no solutions for me. I even suggested that, maybe I hurt because I was so fat? He laughed and said he'd never heard of that. I called him dumb. Secretly. In my head.

Having had enough I decided that I needed to lose weight. I studied my options, found what would work best for me, and started eating a ketogenic diet.

Within two days the pain was gone. I would wake up stiff but not sore. No pain. Not even a little bit.

Even if I hadn't lost a pound of fat that would have been enough to keep me off carbs. Every time that I've had a "cheat day" (twice), I've felt miserable and the pain has come back. Carbs and I do not get along in even the littlest of ways.

I feel better. I'd even go so far as to say I feel good. "Keto" is for me!

Oh, and I've also lost over 40 lbs in 2 months. So that's kind of cool.
jmfargo: (me)
One of the things I've been spending a lot of time doing, lately, is writing reviews. I'm a member of several product-review sites (like BzzAgent, for example) and I spend a portion of almost every day writing some review of some random product or place I've recently visited. I've even started my own review blog, which doesn't have much on it yet but will shortly.

One of the things I've noticed is that when I'm writing reviews and then go back to write something else (say, a post on Father Fails) my writing style changes dramatically. I start adding a lot of exclamation points (as though adding excitement to draw people in), I become less personal, and I rely less on my (stunning and over-whelming) wit. I'm strangely less ME, somehow.

It made me wonder if it's just me or if this happens to other people. Would they even notice it? I don't think I would have if someone else hadn't pointed out a recent post of mine on Father Fails read like it was written by someone else. I examined it and back-tracked it to sounding like one of my reviews. The revelation was just weird

Does it come from being critical? I don't mean being mean but when I write a review I try to list the good and bad, examine every little detail of a place, and come to a conclusion. Does being more discerning on the reviews change my way of thinking about what I'm writing even when I'm not writing a review?

Does anyone else notice themselves writing certain things a certain way and that bleeding into other things they're doing? Am I just crazy and alone on this one?
jmfargo: (me)
Many of you read [livejournal.com profile] theferrett and already know what's been going on in his life lately, and the lives of his friends but many others of you have no idea.

Please, take a moment and read this post at my Father Fails blog.

Thank you.
jmfargo: (me)
I had a dream last night.

I don't often talk about my dreams but this one was different so bear with me.

I don't remember a lot about the dream except for a few things:

  • It seemed very real and realistic.

  • It was a dream about the next few weeks.

  • Things went badly. Quite badly indeed.

  • EVERYTHING was my fault.

The last thing to happen in the dream was a car accident of some kind with something (a sword, perhaps?) sticking out of the hood of our car, having completely destroyed the engine while we were in it. We were all fine but the vehicle was 100% destroyed by whatever was piercing through it. Somehow whatever had happened was my fault even though I was in the passenger seat. Both Laura and the police blamed me.

This is the part in the dream where I started focusing very hard. "I need a second chance" I remember saying, "I can get it all right with just a second chance."

I woke up.

I was disoriented upon waking, and very confused. After a few moments I realized where I was and, more importantly, when I was. My head was absolutely pounding and my vision was slightly blurred but everything that had just gone wrong in the dream hadn't happened.

I'm convinced it was just a dream but for those few moments upon waking my mind truly believed that I've been given a second chance to get things right in the next few weeks. Which is silly and doesn't happen in real life, right?

Just in case, I'm going to go do some productive stuff and be careful not to screw up too much.

I know it was just a dream but we also once knew that the Earth was the center of the galaxy. On that note, I'm going to turn on some music and start doing things. Ciao!
jmfargo: (me)
Dear Depression,

Fuck you.

Do I have your attention?

For all the people whose lives have been cut short, and for their family and friends.

For the families who didn't lose someone through suicide but instead lost someone to the darkness hanging over their shoulder at every moment, making it impossible to get out of bed in the morning.

For the friends who can't understand why their friend won't come and hang out with them, and for those who do understand and know there's nothing they can really do except keep asking and keep being denied the presence of someone who used to be their best friend.

For those that suffer quietly and put a smile on the outside while inside they feel nothing.

For the parents who watch their children fall into a spiral of self-hurt, low self-esteem, and loneliness.

For me.

For those like me.

Fuck you.

Sincerely,
Me and everyone else
jmfargo: (me)
Most of you know I have low testosterone and have probably had it for my entire life. The doctors all kind of boggle when they see my numbers and I actually had a female friend recently tell me that her numbers are higher than mine, which is a little disconcerting. (She has high testosterone, for a woman.)

I'm taking Androgel, a replacement therapy gel that I put on every morning and things are going fairly well. In men, low testosterone can lead to a million different problems ranging from tiny to huge. The replacement therapy has helped with some of the larger issues like fatigue, sex drive, and mild depression.

The relatively high doses of Vitamin D, C, E, and B, plus a general multivitamin may also be helping with some of these problems. I take this all every morning before noon when I put on my gel and things seem to be going well. I'm more energetic, with more drive to actually do things during the day rather than sit around and come up with excuses why those things can't get done.

Oh, how insidious that loop can be, convincing yourself that there's no way you can go do the dishes because that would keep me from writing a blog post or watching the baby. I'm sure I can go do the dishes in an hour while the baby takes a nap; I'll just wait that hour and then do them.

Now the baby's napping and doing dishes makes a lot of noise, so it's best that I just leave them alone for now. The baby needs her sleep, after all!

Depression and fatigue don't go well together. Fatigue means that your body actually feels tired all the time and depression means that you're not going to work hard to overcome that tired feeling and actually get things done because your mind will convince you that there's no real point to it anyway. It's a one-two combo punch that leads to the uppercut of the depression then getting stronger because you're now convinced that since you didn't get any of the stuff done that you were supposed to do, you're worthless.

I've always known that I have a bad brain; the chemicals are just messed up enough to make me spend most of my life feeling worthless and then not doing anything to fix that. Living in a world of depression is living a world full of suck, allow me to attest to that.

With the medication and the regimen of vitamins, things seem to be changing, and for someone who has lived with this horrible cycle of depression leading to inaction leading to depression, it almost seems too good to be true. The change is almost miraculous and I don't think I'm even at the full extent of the change yet since I've only been doing this for a week now; I just don't feel that everything has quite 'taken hold' yet, and I may actually need a higher dose of Androgel to get me up to what medical science considers a normal level. This would, in theory, mean that my energy level and overall drive would go up even more.

The changes are surprising, really. I have an idea of something productive that I should do and instead of just saying "Yeah, that's a nice idea," followed by doing nothing, I now get up and go do that thing that needs doing. Instead of finding reasons why I can't go do this thing, I find solutions to the problems that get in my way and go get the thing I need to do, done. Once it's done I don't have to worry about it anymore and I don't have to feel like a loser because I didn't get this thing done. It's done and out of my mind.

Weird, the way the world works, sometimes. It feels like so much has opened up to me in this world; more possibilities, happiness, and amazingness ahead. I've had a life filled with all of these things. To suddenly feel like there's even more ahead? That's an amazing feeling.

Now, I just need this to keep going and not let it slip away. Any suggestions on how to do that?
jmfargo: (me)
I've often struggled to explain how my brain works but tonight I've pretty much hit the nail on the head.

I just put my little girl to bed and she cried for about 10 minutes, then whimpered for 2 more minutes, and then stopped. She was quiet, the exact result I was looking for. I was happy and then this conversation happened between me and my brain:

Me: Yay! She's sleeping!
Brain: Yay! That's great!
Me: Thanks for agreeing. I thought you'd be trying to get me to worry.
Brain: Worry? Why would I get you to worry? She's been sleeping peacefully without incident (except that one time you found her face down in the mattress, not moving at all, remember that time?) for 9 months!
Me: *slightly nervous laugh* Yeah. 9 months. She's fine. The plan to teach her to self-soothe is working!
Brain: That's great! And besides, every other time you've checked on her you just end up waking her up and she's been fine. So she's fine now. Probably. It's not like she's in there suffocating.
Me: Um.
Brain: Suffocation has got to be a horrible way to die.
Me: I'll be right back.

*cue sound of baby crying*

Brain: Told you she was fine. Should have let her sleep, idiot.


(Note: I don't normally crosspost from my Father Fails blog but I felt like this one deserved to be here as well.)

I'm Alive.

May. 11th, 2013 08:24 pm
jmfargo: (me)
This was a long and rambling post which, when I read back to myself, just about put me to sleep. So here's the bullet points:

  • My gallbladder is out.

  • The doctors have never seen more gallstones than what I had in me. The younger doctor counted over 200.

  • I hurt. 4 days out from the surgery I'm still in pain but it's getting better.

  • I think I may already be seeing some benefits.

  • 8 of the 11 staples have already been mysteriously removed from my body. The appointment for this is in 5 days.

Hopefully this is the last surgery for a while and this does everything it's supposed to do to help me be healthy.

I'm Alive!

Apr. 20th, 2013 06:14 pm
jmfargo: (me)
I just got home from being in the hospital for four days for relatively excruciating pain where my appendix used to be. Four days in a hospital is a long time. I know folks who have been there longer but considering that for my appendix surgery I wasn't even in for 48 hours, this was a very long time.

Mostly it was the waiting game. "How much pain are you in today? Okay, here's morphine while we figure this out. Oh, and no, the doctor has no clue why you're in pain. Here are our 15 best guesses so far."

"Also, now we have to stick five needles in you."

I could complain about how I wasn't allowed food or water for about 36 hours, or how then I was on a liquid-only diet, or that when I was finally allowed on real food they put me back on a no food/water diet seconds after dinner was delivered. I could. But I won't.

Let's fast-forward to today.

I was released! The doctor, with a little help from his friends, figured out what is wrong with me and sent me home with some drugs. In the end the diagnosis is Diverticulitis, gallstones, and this third thing that causes pain but doesn't need treatment so isn't really "medically relevant."

I'm released. I'm hungry. I've had 3,000 Calories of food over the past 5 days at this point (seriously), and I. Want. To. Eat.

But let me explain the dietary restrictions I appear to be on. This research is strictly what I've found on at least 3 different websites that each appear reputable to me but should not be taken as gospel and could very well be wrong.

Dear Universe, how I hope I'm wrong.

Due to Diverticulitis I can not eat the following if I don't want to become infected and suffer a flair-up:

Fiber
Green vegetables
Seeds
Nuts
Popcorn
Anything that breaks into tiny little pieces (like croutons, for example)

And with gallstones I have to avoid these things or risk triggering a painful episode:

Fats
Sugar
Eggs
Pork
Onions
Poultry
Milk
Coffee
Oranges
Corn
Beans
Nuts

I am fairly certain that I have determined what I am allowed to eat. Let me make a list:

Rice

That looks about right. What do you think?
jmfargo: (me)
I was reading a few things the other day and it got me to thinking.

I'm sure that most of you have come across the Holographic Principle but if not let me sum it up in how I understand it (which I'm sure is wrong): It's possible to store 3D data on a 2D surface if that surface is something like a gravitational boundary. Furthermore, that it's possible that we are just some kind of super-advanced computer program being projected in this way.

To bring it down even more: This is a theory that shows how we might possibly be just a computer program/hologram and there are scientists who are actively testing this theory because they believe it may be true.

Well, okay. Weird, cool, whatever, right?

I started thinking some more.

We have discovered the smallest size possible, Planck Length. I don't understand the math behind it but basically it says that there exists such a small size that it is impossible to get smaller; no "dividing it in half" or "subtracting a little bit from it to make it even smaller." It's done. Smallest size possible. Finite.

Sounds to me like we've found the pixels of the Universe.

Add to that the recent finding that Quantum Entanglement (which is fascinating but way above my head beyond the most basic understanding) happens at speeds of at least 10,000 times the speed of light (the highest speed that the instruments are capable of currently measuring) and you have something weird. I'll break it down for you:

Take two atoms and do something funky to them that entangles them in some weird quantum physics sort of way. Move one atom and the other atom moves in the exact same way no matter how far apart they are. According to the theory and now possibly being show by the tests, this process may happen instantaneously. With no delay. That's breaking all sorts of physical laws that I don't understand except to say that it's very exciting. Further study in this field could make instantaneous communication possible no matter the distance, theoretically.

It's like we're hacking the Universe somehow, redefining it.

To sum up, I have decided that we probably are some kind of extremely advanced computer program made by either our descendants, an alien race, or some guy just wanting to have fun with some super-amazing computer software. Maybe everyone in the future has one of these running on their computer. Who knows?

So I'm a computer program, as are you. What does that change?

Well, for me, absolutely nothing. I'm still me and I still experience life day-to-day until my plug is pulled. I still love, laugh, and try to find happiness. Just because I'm not real in a subjective sense doesn't actually mean anything; I'm real to me and that's what matters

But the more I think about it the more I realize that if the scientists do discover that we're just a hologram, they will probably never publish or release their findings. Can you imagine the the storm of insanity this would create?

Would it change your life if you found out that your existence essentially boils down to a bunch of ones and zeroes? How? Why?
jmfargo: (me)
Those of you who have been around for a while may remember that back when I lived in Delaware I went on a miracle drug that helped me lose weight, put on muscle, gave me more energy, helped with my depression, and generally made my life better. I went off of it due to losing insurance and not being able to pay several hundred dollars a month for it.

The drug was testosterone replacement.

The first doctor to ever prescribe this for me was amazed when he saw my results on how long my testosterone was. He looked at me and said I was doing "surprisingly well" with my weight and activity level. I'm not sure exactly what that meant but was pleased.

The doctor I saw out here said almost exactly the same thing when he put me back on the gel I was taking that helped me in the past.

I'm back on this miracle drug. We'll see what happens. I'm hopeful, honestly. I remember there were a couple of downsides, like anger, but I was also in a very different situation back then than I am now since I was going through a divorce; I think that side effect will be strongly curbed.

I'm hoping there will be some big changes. Cross your fingers for me, please.
jmfargo: (Chris Pallace)
I went to see a doctor for the first time in over a year yesterday. He was nice, he was helpful, and he was obsessed with making sure I didn't feel good about myself.

I don't think he meant it. I mean, overall his words were very helpful and I think he's going to help me get some things fixed and generally wants to see me healthy but when the conversation starts with him walking in the door saying "You know that we have to do something about that weight of yours, right?" it puts me very slightly on the defensive.

Later, the doctor mentioned that I seem to have Gynecomastia. I paused, because I had no idea what he meant and when a doctor uses a word that sounds like some kind of "mass," that gets me a bit worried. When I asked him what he was talking about, he paused and looked at me, trying to find the words. After a moment I put it together and asked "Man boobs? You mean that I have man boobs, right?" The look on his face was priceless as he agreed that yes, that was indeed what he meant.

I told him that I know I have man boobs. They're difficult to miss.

Now, most of you know that I have low testosterone. It happens, it's a thing, I'm not ashamed of it. I mentioned it to the doctor and while we were talking about it he said "I did notice that you have very little body hair."

Me too! ME TOO, DOC!

He linked a bunch of things back to me being overweight.

However.

He seems willing to work together to get me on the meds I need for my low testosterone and he actually seemed like he wants to help me overall. I want to lose weight and he's willing to work with me on it, so it's not a bad thing that he's focused on the weight.

It's just that, maybe, just maybe, he could realize that I know I'm fat. It's tough to miss. I've known me much longer than he has.
jmfargo: (me)
I recently addicted another person to a text-based fantasy game that I enjoy online called DSL (Dark and Shattered Lands). It's a fantasy game with a couple hundred dedicated players who log on at different times during the day. The population of the MUD runs from between 20 people on at one time, to a little over 100. It has a nice feel to it because, like a small neighborhood, you kind of get to know most of the people.

Right now, I'm kind of looking to add more players, people who might want to give it a shot and take some time out of their day to get to know the game and enjoy themselves. The learning curve isn't very steep, and it's very easy to get sucked into the game, but there's a huge problem.

Look back to my first line, starting at the eighth word: "text-based fantasy game." Now, read the words again but this time remove that laugh you added, and some of you need to stop calling me a dork under your breath. I can hear you and it kinda hurts. Ouch.

This problem happens with everything from MUDs, card games, to LARPs, and good ol' table-top games. You have to find like-minded people in order to get others to play, or convince people that "it's not as geeky as it sounds" and then suck them in through how fun it really is to play the game.

How do you overcome that? Do you only focus on people who already play these games, never growing the population outside of what would quickly become a very  inbred population? Or do you make the mistake that I've seen so many people make and just keep pushing, pushing, pushing, finally driving people away from you because they've heard it a million times and just don't want to hear it again?

I tend to bring something up to people who I think would enjoy whatever it is I'm doing twice, and no more than that. Once as a "you may enjoy <activity>" and then the second time later, if they didn't react vehemently against the idea, as a "I'd love to introduce you to <activity>." If the person seems interested I'll talk about the game a little bit and then move on,. If they're interested, they'll bring it up again. If they're not, they won't.

What do you think? How do you show people that this thing you love is actually quite fun and they should give it a try?
jmfargo: (me)
I don't know about you but I love grilled cheese sandwiches. My mom used to make them on special occasions for me and my four siblings, usually accompanied by some kind of soup. To this day a grilled cheese sandwich still feels like a special occasion, even though I can easily make one for myself any time I want one.

Sort of like bacon.

A while back I was watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network and Guy Fieri said something along the lines of how the real secret to making a grilled cheese sandwich wasn't to use butter (which is what I've always used, of course) but instead to use mayonnaise.

I was appalled. Even now this idea sort of twists my stomach into a knot and makes my taste buds want to rebel against me for even thinking about what it must taste like. My brain won't wrap itself around the idea of that in any way, shape, or form being a good thing.

But I've had it. My brain is wrong. While I prefer butter over mayonnaise, mayo is a perfectly fine substitute if you're out of butter or if all you have is hard butter that's going to rip through the bread and be useless*. It crisps up like butter, is easier to spread evenly on the bread, and tastes generally fine. It doesn't have the same buttery flavor, of course, but the texture isn't changed at all, which is good and makes it an acceptable substitute, if not exactly perfect.

Then, [livejournal.com profile] laurapatrick said something that got me to thinking. "I guess since butter is a fat and mayo is a fat, you could use any kind of fat to make a grilled cheese."

And my friends I am here to give you a revelation that could, quite possibly, bring you to your knees in its simple glory. Today I sampled this revelation and let me tell you:

It. Is. Good.

What is this ground-breaking, earth-shattering, heaven-felling secret? Well, that's what I'm going to tell you. It's simple and amazing and you'll be glad you know me simply for how life-changing this secret could be for you and your loved ones:

Bacon grease.

You can make grilled cheese with bacon grease, and it's every bit amazing as a bacon-grilled-cheese-sandwich sounds like it should be.

You're welcome.**

*Or you could, I don't know, melt the butter on the skillet and lay the bread in the butter instead of trying to spread it. My friend [livejournal.com profile] turbotroll taught me that one.

**I do not take credit for the heart failure later in life due to this revelation, just the happiness that leads up to it. Again, you're welcome.
jmfargo: (me)
Mostly my days consist of being a father. Sometimes I'm a good dad and sometimes I'm a great dad. Either way I feel like an idiot at least five or six times a day and as I understand it that's perfectly normal. Or I'm a horrible person. I'm not sure.

I have sat down to write this, just this tiny little snippet, four times now. Again I am being called away by a child, this time because she took her empty bottle and smacked herself in the head with it. Twice. Then shoved the nipple of the bottle up her nose.

Believe it or not, this is the happiest I've been in a long time.
jmfargo: (me)
I don't know how to tell this story, really, except to be very blunt. The only reason I am alive today is because I threw away my old life, walking away from it to move as far away as I could and almost die while walking through a desert.

I had decided that by January 15th, 2012, I would either be doing something amazing or I would be dead from my own hand, quietly and in a place where I'd not be found for a very long time. I knew how, where, and when. I was ready to die, or to delete my old life and start something new. It just came down to whether or not I was able to make this amazing thing happen. If not? No problem. I'd just be dead.

I've tried to write this up several times and each time I've focused on the "why" of feeling suicidal but I realized I can't do that. The fact of the matter was just that I was. A large part of myself just wanted to stop trying, and never try again. I was ready to die and it simply wasn't a big deal.

The day I realized I wanted to die I thought that if I was willing to kill myself why not try doing something completely different and have an adventure? If I died on the adventure or failed, who cared? Since I was going to take my own life anyway, why not have my suicide be different, have nature kill me, or be murdered on the streets in a major city while trying to busk for some coin? Since dying didn't matter, why not go try something new?

So that's what I did.

That's why I walked away from everyone and everything I knew and loved. I had to.

And walking away from everyone and everything was the best thing I have ever done for my own love of life. I left everything behind, stripped myself to bare bones, and learned that deep down I love who I actually am, not who I had become.

I'm not the same person I was before I left for my walk and I never will be again. I love life. I love living. Amazing things happened and my faith in humanity was restored. Better than that, my faith in me was restored.

I have been trying to write this for a while. I wanted to make it interesting but instead I just decided that I would put what was in my brain on "paper." I just figured that some people deserved to know why I left you behind and really didn't look back. I did miss most of you but I never once regretted walking away.

It's the best thing I ever did, and I hope you can understand.

I WILL answer any questions you have, if you ask, and if I know the answer.
jmfargo: (Default)
Someone else would have stepped up if I hadn't. If nothing else, Laura was trained in the Heimlich maneuver and life-saving and would have jumped in. I just happened to notice it first when the woman at the table next to us started making horrible faces and that when her companion asked "are you okay?" she shook her head no and was unable to respond.

I jumped over, asked "are you choking?" and at her nod and turning her back to me started to pump my fists into the proper positioning for the Heimlich maneuver.

It's not like in the movies, or at least it wasn't in this case. Whatever was stuck didn't fly out like some prodigious Prometheus across the landscape of the Golden Corral. She just, after four or five good pulls, suddenly sucked in air. Out of instinct I pulled once more but realized she was breathing and stopped.

She was okay. Her chest hurt a bit but she said it was just sore. I gave her some napkins for her nose and eyes which were running and returned to my meal. I watched her carefully and she did seem okay while we were there.

I do truly believe she would have been okay if I hadn't stepped up. Somebody, somewhere, would have come to her rescue.

Still, later on, as I drifted to bed, it was nice to think that for at least one night I was somebody's hero.
jmfargo: (Default)
I watch the stats on my Father Fails blog rather closely and it makes me laugh when I notice an interesting trend. Like, for example, everyone loves it when I'm a horrible person.

Take, for example, yesterday's post: In Which I Am Probably Scarring Her For Life. With that title this quickly became the most viewed post I have put up to date. In one day its views eclipsed even Parenting or Porn which had a huge immediate following.

So when I put horrible titles that make me sound like an absolutely terrible person? That's what gets read quickly and gains more comments than anything else I've written. I used to question whether or not the titles matter and now I've learned:

Make the title as horrible as possible and they will come. Lesson learned, challenge accepted.
jmfargo: (Default)
Most of you know that I spin fire poi. I have a fun time with it and really love doing it. Lately, I haven't actually been keeping up with my practice. I learned some basics and then let it fall by the wayside. I do that sometimes; I'd like to not do that when it's something that I absolutely love.

In order to help motivate myself I've joined a group that does Polynesian dance and fire spinning! It's a club here at Virginia Tech that focuses on Polynesian dance and culture but also does fire poi spinning, including shows!

I'll gladly learn Polynesian dances if they have instructors for the males (tonight they didn't have instructors for the males so the three of us ended up leaving about an hour early, which was a little disappointing) but mostly I'm doing this for the poi and fire spinning.

Once again I'm in a college environment with people a decade or more younger than I am and it feels odd but I'll get used to it and just have some poi fun. This should also help me with getting in shape if I actually practice.

So that's what's going on with me. I also met a young man after the meeting who is a juggler, a contact juggler, a poi spinner, a unicyclist, and a choreographer. He's who I want to grow up to be, a dozen years younger than I am.

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