That "fat white guy." – My journey from sugar – 2017-April-26

Here’s the Wednesday weigh in.  181 lbs

This is down from 182.8 lbs.

Psychologically, I see the purpose behind documenting weekly weigh ins.  It is easy to weigh one’s self and think the weight is not changing and give up disappointed.

On the other hand.  WHO says I’m still overweight.  At this mass I see why BMI is flawed.

My kettlebell form is nearly perfect now.  It took about two weeks and online resources (here)
and the book Kettlebell training by Steve Cotter.  I’m in awe over how my posture has changed.  It feels like every muscle in my back is working together to keep my spine straight.  I almost want to tell everyone and gush how great kettlebells are but then I think of how obnoxious it is when people go on about marathons or being vegan.


Baby on board signage

If you have a baby on board sign on your rear windshield, give your head a shake.

In all the conversations I’ve ever had with drivers, no person has ever said “I wanted to run that car off the  road.”  Not once!

More so, no one has ever said to me “I was preparing to run them off the road when I saw they had a ‘baby on board’ sign – I immediately changed my mind, and went on my way.” Not once!

I’m convinced that these signs are sold because new parents are impressionable and extremely tired.
There is a scene in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club that captured the feeling of the sleepless parent.

A copy of a copy.  Things as everyone sees them,  are still there.  They are there but they are increasingly difficult decipher.  So here’s my word of advice for parents.  Don’t buy that stupid baby on board sign.  Your baby on board is your mini-van, station wagon (my case) or SUV.  Your baby on board sign is the giant car seat then booster seat that is federally mandated until the kids start University studies.

Now that my twins are almost five my sleep is coming back.  My brain is recharging.  So sleepless parent, your copy-of-a-copy waking dream will eventually end and you’ll sleep again.  The fantastic part is that you feel smart again.  Albeit you’re probably less smart than when you started parenting, you’re just less stupid feeling.

A case for the single user Gsuite account

The former Google apps or now Gsuite  or whatever terrible name it will have in the future is extremely value packed.

For $10 CA per month I can have my personal e-mail hosted with Gmail and have up-to 2 petabytes (PB) of Google Drive storage (That’s 2,048 Terabytes).  Once I was impressed with the Amazon Cloud drive $60 US for unlimited storage.  It turns out that 2 petabytes is pretty darned close to unlimited.

If a Blu-ray game or movie is ~ 50 gigabytes or 0.05 terabytes (TB) I have the ability to store, in theory, approximately 40, 000 Blu-ray discs.  Or 2000x the storage for $120 per year what Dropbox (1 TB, $129 per year)  iCloud (1 TB, $120 per year), or Onedrive (1 TB, $70 per year) sell for about the same amount of money (prices as of April 2017).

Onedrive is the only service that is remotely similar because your service includes Office (the most up-to-date version of the day).  My 2 PB come with arguably the best e-mail interface, effectively unlimited storage and a decent, although not great office suite.  The Google suite documents package is OK but is not going to suffice for the power Excel or Word user.

All together.  $120 gets an incredible amount of digital real estate.  I’m aware of the security implications of storing data in the cloud.  This is why I use Arq Backup and upload my backup in encrypted chunks.  Certainly worth a look if you are considering moving your digital content to the cloud.

That "fat white guy." – My journey from sugar – 2017-April-12

Wednesday weigh in.

This week’s weight is 183 lbs on the button!  This is down from 183.8 lbs last week, April 5th.

What’s new this week?  As far as shaping the diet, little, if anything has changed.  I’m trying to eat as much as possible for breakfast.  My calorie needs are slightly higher since I started my kettlebell training.  What a change that is.  About 10 years ago I worked out at the local community centre regularly.

There would be the prototypical ‘leg day,’ ‘chest day,’ ‘arm day’ etc.  With the kettlebell it feels that every muscle group is subject to a beating at the same time.

The most abused muscle group is the trapezius.  The middle and lower trapezius takes a beating for the first few days.  It may actually feel like an injury.  But in my case, it was not.  Some anecdotal reports on the internet suggest it is because these muscle groups are seldom targeted in exercise and subsequently, are very weak.  Shoulders, arms, legs and abdominal muscles all took a beating, not like the trapezius.

Daycare is a social issue

This is one of the sadder stories I think I will read.  It is sad because I understand the desperation of the parents of the dead toddler.

While at unlicensed daycare, a toddler is forgotten, strapped in a car seat, left to die of heat stroke. The caregiver alleged the toddler died while napping and is now facing charges for obstruction of justice and criminal negligence.

At the time of this toddler’s death, 35 children were in the care of the unlicensed caregiver.

Parents are expected to care for their children.  There is no argument there.  But in securing safety for their children, the mind of the parent looking for daycare is a desperate one.  To give an idea of daycare wait times as of 5 years ago when looking for childcare at UBC:  Megan and I waited for daycare since February 2012 when we learned of the pregnancy.  We updated our request to two spots in in April 2012 when we learned we were having twins.  We did not secure two full time spots for our boys till August 2016.

We waited.  We waited till our parental leaves expired.  And we used the resources available to us to hire a nanny.  Both nannies were named Zoe and both showed our twins the love and care any parent would want for their children.  We were lucky.  Our luck for finding safe care for our children came at a tremendous financial cost.  After childcare expenses and rent we kept a few hundred dollars for other necessities.  We were able to do this for a few strokes of luck.  Neither of us accrued debt as students.  We had an above median household income.  Just starting my postdoc, Megan was making considerably more money than I – together we would get by.

Our boys are in daycare at UBC.  We believe that everyday they will be safe.  Everyday I will pick them up  – they will have new stories of races lost and won, pretend robot wars and arts and crafts.  If I was so unfortunate as to not have safe and reliable childcare I would be desperate.  I would seek unlicensed options.  The death of this toddler is not a matter where the parents ‘should have known better’ could have done differently.

Exploring the two main choices I assume that these parents, like my partner and I, do not have family living in the province where they reside.  My choices would be as follows:  Forgo one income and career to care for the children.  Maintain two incomes and two careers and forgo some income.

With the first option I lose my income and career experience to raise my children.  My household has less resources.  My children do not get the rich experience of interacting with multiple children everyday.

With the second option I lose only some of my income (or most as this proportion is dependent on total compensation).  Despite losing income my career moves forward – I gain experience with time. I develop no gap in my resume.  My children get to interact with other children daily.  The downside is that my children are in unlicensed daycare.  Provincial standards of health and safety are not necessarily enforced.  There is more risk for my children than the regular scrapes, bruises and occasional sprains and broken bones.  The unlicensed childcare maybe understaffed or overcrowded. The doors and windows may not be to best standards – children may leave the facility without the notice of the caregivers.

A parent is to balance risk with survival.  Some calculated risk today in order to live better in the future.  When stated that way, it isn’t at all irrational.

Today is April 8th 2017.  My children will start school in September 2017.  If we value the safety and care of vulnerable persons in our society – the racially, religiously, sexually marginalized persons, we should care for children’s proper care.  I will care about this issue after I no longer pay daycare fees. It’s a social imperative that we take care of vulnerable persons.  We make provisions in our society to maintain safety, legal protections, and health care.  I’ll believe in childcare after my children are in full time schooling because it is consistent with Canadian social norms.