Uncle Josh does the NaNoWriMo thing again

This morning the plan was to get up at 6, make a cup of coffee, and start writing for NaNoWriMo. My body decided that I needed to be up at 5:30, but I wasn’t aware of the time and after failing to fall asleep, got up about ten till six and made my coffee and managed to start writing by 6:08. Not bad. One hour later I heard Stephanie up and about and so I called it a day and checked my word count: 1,714. That had to be wrong. I don’t write that fast. Yes, I’m a fast typist but I average 1,000 wph when drafting. I have a new computer. It’s possible the program I’m using (Focus Writer, damn fine tool) wasn’t calculating it correctly. It’s possible something went wrong with the file. I opened it LibreOffice and it confirmed the count. On the way to work, Stephanie Continue reading Uncle Josh does the NaNoWriMo thing again

Uncle Josh Fights for the Commons (Multnomah County Measure 26-184

The “American Commons” is a phrase I use to describe my ideal political party, although at this point it’s really about being in full support of Democracy as opposed to Oligarchy or Monarchy. One of the things we need to do, as a country but also at every level down to the neighborhood, is apply Democracy to the election process. One way to do this is to publicly finance campaigns, letting each serious candidate draw from a stipend during the official three-month campaign season and have the state buy advertisement slots which can be distributed evenly among those candidates. In the meantime, we have Measure 26-184, which puts strict restrictions on how much any individual can donate to a county-level campaign. To win broad appeal, political figures will need to make a broad appeal instead of getting one or two special interests with deep pockets behind them. I am for Continue reading Uncle Josh Fights for the Commons (Multnomah County Measure 26-184

Uncle Josh goes all Aaron Burr (Oregon Measure 94 post)

Thanks to Hamilton, most Americans know a story of Aaron Burr. Burr does not always act to better his position, but waits for someone to realize his virtue and give him status. When he does decide to make a move to get into “the room where it happens” he finds the last available seat is taken up by Alexander Hamilton. Imagine (or remember) a time when the only way to learn about new movies was to read the news paper (which came to your door every single day) and scan the ads. Sometimes there was a movie reviewer, and some times an ad on TV, and sometimes schoolyard scuttlebutt. You are twelve years old. You see a bunch of movies that look good (they aren’t, but you’re twelve! What do you know?) and you look forward to a whole summer of catching movies. Then a new rating comes out: PG-13. Continue reading Uncle Josh goes all Aaron Burr (Oregon Measure 94 post)

Uncle Josh is Half the Man He Used to Be

Well, not literally, but I am a writer and allowed to bump the baseline, as the song goes. But I am feeling smaller, and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that. This is the end of Day 13 of our Whole30 and on top of getting sick and tired thinking about and working for our food. It seems like all our free time is going into food prep and cleanup. I carve out enough time to work out three times a week, and I feel like I’m  losing ground. I started serious strength training on June 20, 2013. I did my first set of squats (5×5) at 25 lbs. On September 16, 2013 my squat was 215 lbs. It maxed out at 290 lbs that November and had read Starting Strength on the recommendation of a chiropractor, so I only needed to do three sets of five, but I did them. Continue reading Uncle Josh is Half the Man He Used to Be

Uncle Josh breaks a mayonnaise

This is day 6 of our #Whole30 and it was a tough one. I was tired all day no matter how much coffee I drank. I ate everything I had taken to work and was hungry by the end of the work day. Tonight was also a lifting night, and I was afraid of what the iron would do to me. I had to run and errand during the day and I turned a corner to see the sign of a sub shop and my first thought was “she’ll never know.” I was tempted. Hungry. Worried. And there was the promise of forbidden foods that would make me oh-so-very happy. I even persisted in the illusion that I could hide it. No, that’s not bread and onions on my breath, not at all. Gee, hon, I don’t know how that sub shop charge landed on our bank account.  I was, Continue reading Uncle Josh breaks a mayonnaise

Uncle Josh Dreams of Food (Whole30 Day 2)

Yesterday, according to Weight Watchers, I only ate about 63% of my daily allotment of SmartPoints™. I was satisfied with breakfast, but fell into hunger mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I ate raisins as a pre-lift snack and because it was cool I managed a pretty good workout between WW and dinner. Dinner was wonderful, and there was a hint of peckishness as I fell asleep. I was not prepared for the dream. It was a common scene: I was in a parking lot outside a grocery store moving soda waters and chips from the cart to my car. I opened a bag. I ate a chip. And then I had this horrible feeling that I had done something horribly wrong and betrayed everything that is good and wholesome in the world and had cheated on my wife. I was not prepared for the dream. I tried to hide my sin. I Continue reading Uncle Josh Dreams of Food (Whole30 Day 2)

Uncle Josh Eats Lunch (Whole30 Day 1)

Today is day one. Last night we prepped breakfast, a potato-sausage-egg casserole with onions and mushrooms and–this is amazing in context–lemon. It lasted most of the morning until about 11. Lunch is a mason-jar salad full of veggies and a can of tuna, plus an egg. I don’t plan on reporting on every little thing I eat. In fact, I’m not supposed to be eating all the “little things” and restrict myself to three meals a day. The challenge is I’ve been on an eat-every-two-hours thing for years. I have to adjust to not eating “all the time” which my co-workers may come to appreciate. (I’m sure they’d appreciate it if I didn’t eat lunch at my desk, but that’s modern work for ya!) For years I have equated “Tired” with “Depressed” and struggled to break that mental connection. I also have equated “Hungry” with “Angry” and “Peckish” with “Tired” Continue reading Uncle Josh Eats Lunch (Whole30 Day 1)

Uncle Josh Preambles the Whole30

Like many Americans, I have an unhealthy relationship with food. As a teenager a large supreme pizza from Shakey’s was a snack. A two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola was a thing I picked up from the 7-11 and finished by the end of trip. My memories of vegetables requiee a can opener.  I was never one for self esteem, figuring it was a quality for other people to enjoy. I was married and divorced by the time I was 22 and I turned up a snotty vegetarian tipping the scale at 300 pounds. Giving up on vegetarianism got me to 320, easy. By the time I was 29, I had married the most fabulous woman in the world who loves me despite myself. I lost my job two months before he wedding and fell back into depression and back into food. Being broke, newly married, and living in a dump did Continue reading Uncle Josh Preambles the Whole30

Uncle Josh Fixes the Olympics and Saves a Nation

That’s one hell of a promise in the title, isn’t it? It’s a big idea that will take a lot of planning but I think it not only can work, it can be a huge benefit to the world in general and Greece in particular. It’s commonly accepted that Rio was not ready for 2016. Swimmers should not be told “don’t touch the water because it’s nasty”. The poor shouldn’t be kicked out of their homes to make way for Olympic villages. This is a common problem with other Olympic venues. I’d have to look it up, but I think I remember hearing that very few host countries make money on the Olympics because of the temporary costs associated with running things and building things and occasionally violating people’s civil rights (assuming they have any in the host country). It would be a lot more efficient if there was one Continue reading Uncle Josh Fixes the Olympics and Saves a Nation

Uncle Josh on Fear in the American Commons

In the world of jokedom, the 12:30 AM phone call is the teenager out after curfew with the family car, calling to say there was an accident. Dad immediately asks “How’s the car.” It’s not a funny a joke, but it is telling about what the Dad of Jokedom fears more than the potential loss of a child or even injury to that child: Loss of the family car. Why? Because without the car Dad has to go to work on Public Transportation, which may add an hour or two to his day. (My personal record: 5 hours on public transportation back and forth for a 4-hour work shift.) But also the cost of repairing the car on a tight budget may mean “no vacation this year” or “no meals out this month” or “no mortgage payment this month” which leads to living in smaller and smaller apartments for possibly Continue reading Uncle Josh on Fear in the American Commons