Yeah it has been awhile, but I have decided to occasionally visit some of my old blogs. It is hard to believe this blog is this old! Wow!
This blog has been slow for a variety of reasons, partly because I have been having technical issues (Yahoo and WordPress don’t seem to get along, so I have had trouble moderating comments. It is fixed, but some of your comments may have been lost forever).
Also, I pretty much blog at other places now. My theological reflections are posted regularly at Per Christum, and most of my other thoughts are now posted at the Life in Your Years Blog. Please visit those blogs, and add them to your feeds and bookmarks.
By popular demand, here are photos of Jonathan and Carmel’s baby Grace! I took these right before I returned home from visiting Jonathan and his family. I will take some more this weekend.
Also, I should note that Jonathan, Carmel, Jennifer, and I have started a new blog, Life in Your Years, to explore some of our interests like health, finance, and home life. Per Christum will still be going strong, and I will still post some personal stuff here from time to time like I still do.
Today is the last day of school for me this year. Yes, I am a teacher and not a student, but unknown to most students, teachers look forward to summer break about as much as students do! I plan on moving into the new house, catching up on work, and visiting family.
Because of high gas prices, we are changing some summer plans. Jennifer and I originally planned to visit Charleston, South Carolina, but now we are probably just going to visit Jonathan and Carmel, a huge mileage savings (not to mention saving hotel costs). It also will give all of us a chance to explore the local area where Jonathan and Carmel live (there are beaches, etc).
It is well-known among WordPress users that Yahoo Web Hosting has been pretty weak as a host for the WordPress software. For ages, Yahoo only automatically installed WordPress 2.0.2, which was buggy and old. I was frustrated with it, because it was so old it wouldn’t import the new blogger, effectuvely meaning I couldn’t import the settings from my group blog to WordPress (so I had to go with WordPress.com).
However, things seem to have changed. Yahoo now starts out with WordPress 2.3.3, which is a big improvement over 2.0.2. Also, I found a nice WordPress plug-in that automatically upgrades WordPress software!! It is the Instant Upgrade Plugin. Until this moment, as I mentioned, I was stuck with WordPress 2.0.2. So we’ll see how this works, but it looks like I finally will have updated WordPress software!
UPDATE: I had a few issues with links not working after I went from 2.0.2 to the newest version, 2.5.1, using the instant upgrade plugin. To fix this, I exported the contents of this blog, deleted the blog with 2.5.1., then started a new blog through yahoo web-hosting (which now starts off with 2.3.3), and importing my exported material. Then, I upgraded to 2.5.1 using the plug-in, and everything works fine (so far). So maybe going from 2.0.2 to 2.5.1 caused some buggy behavior.
Speaking of “upgrades,” school is out this Friday (four days!!). We will be officially buying our house on Friday. We have a few things to do, like mowing the yard, cleaning out the gutters, and, of course, moving in.
Spring is here, which means I have been busy taking Spring photos. I have posted a few below.
Below are some blossoms from a tree at my apartment:
Below are some more blossoms from the same tree:
The photo below was taken a little before the trees started changing, at a golf course near my brother’s house.
Usually around this time, Dandelions start appearing in yards, and my neighbor’s is no exception:
Finally, below is from the courtyard of my apartment complex. I have lived in some bad complexes in the past (come on, did the neighbors on *both* sides really have to blare their rap music at 11:00 PM???), but this one is great.
A friend of mine at work asked me to come to our school’s open gyms. Basically, an open gym is when the kids, coaches, and others (like teachers), gather a few times a week to play basketball. I haven’t played basketball regularly since 1995, when some friends and I would play almost everyday after school in the spring. I haven’t played formally since about 1989, the last year I went to basketball camp and played pee-wee ball. So, when my friend at work asked me, I was hesitant. Nonetheless, I agreed (when he and the 4 other teachers who were going to play said “come on” for about the 5th time, I was convinced .
Long story short: I went, and now I am going twice a week. It is great exercise, running up and down the court continuously; guarding teens who are in great shape forces me to step it up. I have always been pretty competitive, and even if I am near dead, I am not going to give up easily. At the end of the night on Thursday, probably the best player on our high school team was guarding me (not sure if he wanted to take it easy that game or what, lol), but at any rate, at one point he said, “you don’t stop running do you!” Well, it at least shows that I am in good shape, which is nice to know since I turn 30 next month. I am getting back some of my old basketball skills, which is nice. But most of all, I just enjoy hanging out with friends, and varying up my exercise routine!
I feel like this blog is becoming a digest of updates…oh well, that is what a personal blog is I guess.
- It is getting pretty warm here in Ohio. It has been in the 60s and 70s the last few weeks, after a long, cold winter (which stretched well into March). I have already played golf once, and have run outside. I got a nice tan while in D.C. It is nice to be able to get out and take in some fresh air.
- Tomorrow is tax day, and my accountant hasn’t gotten my taxes back to me to sign and mail, even though I turned my forms in at the beginning of March. I keep calling. I could ask “do you know tomorrow is April 15??” but I sure as hell hope they already know that!
- Tomorrow is also what I call “Vitamin D Day,” or the day when the sun is finally strong enough north of Raleigh, NC, to cause our skins to make Vitamin D. So get some sun tomorrow, and start making some vitamins.
- I have been listening to Ryan Adams album “Easy Tiger,” and I am really getting into it. I like a lot of Adams’ Whiskeytown stuff, and his solo stuff is pretty good too.
I am taking a little break from being busy. Generally, I like being busy, in my own way. I like updating web pages, teaching Catholicism, and so forth. I go to work joyfully (most days at least!). However, it seems like I have been pretty busy this year. I have had weekend commitments that have kept me from visiting my family since January. Basically, I am ready for a rest, and I am going to take it this week, visiting my family. Here is what I have planned for this first week of the Easter season (called the Octave of Easter):
- Run or hike outside (I know it is still about 40-50 degrees out, but I don’t care. I need some fresh air!)
- Go to the YMCA (I got an MP3 player for taking Harris Poll surveys, and I haven’t used it until today. It was nice to be able to run with music playing)
- Go golfing (see above…yes I know it is still pretty chilly, and the ground is pretty wet, but I am aching to get out and golf)
- Do some target shooting (I haven’t had a chance to get out and shoot much…not since last summer)
- Celebrate the resurrection of Christ in morning and evening prayer (Easter is a festive and joyous season!)
Is there a 12-Step program for vitamin addicts? Well, if so, I think I need start working the first step.
I admit I have been fascinated by supplements and nutrition, and after theology, I read more about health than any other topic. I think I took an interest in health because in junior high I was a bit pudgy, which was caused in part by genetics. Eating too much and playing too much Nintendo may have played a part…but other than these minor factors, it was definitely genetics. I also had fairly thin hair growing up, and was convinced that I was going to go bald when I was older. Incidentally, at 29, I still have about as much hair as I did when I was 15, which is a full head. I was, and am, proactive, preferring action to b*tching, so knowing that bald fat teens don’t usually get a lot of hot dates, I started taking my health seriously. Jonathan checked out Lendon Smith’s Diet Plan for Teenagers from the library, which I read, and my interest in health, nutrition, and supplements was born. I tried to change my diet, started exercising, and bought some vitamins at the local health food store. I think I bought Folic Acid, Iodine, and maybe vitamin C. It’s written in an old high school planner somewhere. It snow-balled from there. I even remember checking out health magazines from the library and contacting advertisers and seeing how many free supplements I could get. I have always liked to read, and after a night of football practice, going out on a date, or whatever, I would usually retire to my room, put on some Bob Dylan songs, and read a little, often from health books. I eventually found the mail order supplement company Lee Nutrition (and its sister company, Nutrition Headquarters), with its testimonies from people from quaint sounding towns that I suspected didn’t actually exist: “Thank you for your vitamin C. It really helped me feel better. Sincerely Jennifer G., Santa’s Village, IL.” So I ordered some of the supplements that I had read so much about: Chromium, Vitamin E, Alfalfa, and others.
Even though I was “into” health in high school, I went through a fairly unhealthy stage during my undergraduate days, and I stopped taking supplements, started eating too much, and quit working out regularly. I remember eating three large meals a day, topped off with two small bags of salsa verde Dorritos and a pint of whole milk. I got out of breath climbing the dorm stairs, and did not feel very well.
When I got to grad school, I knew I had to get with it. Not only did I start eating well again and exercising, I started ordering supplements online from Puritan’s Pride, and I began to use the internet to find studies about supplements and conditions. Over the years, I have started taking different supplements based on the newest research (for example, vitamin D, which at one time I wondered why supplement companies even bothered making since it seemed to have little therapeutic benefit…boy was I wrong!). I also stopped taking a few after research showed no benefit or perhaps harm (Beta-Carotene, for example).
I still take quite a few supplements, including herbs (Garlic), enzymes (Bromelain), lipids (Fish Oil), miscellaneous (Co-enzyme Q10), and minerals (Magnesium and Selenium…on days my dietary intake is low, which is rare thanks to regular consumption of nuts). I have even added some new supplements to the mix (Acetyl L-Carnitine and Alpha-Lipoic Acid) rather recently. I enjoy laying out my supplements the night before I take them, and organizing them; this kind of orders my day, and if anything, allows me to feel in control of at least one aspect of my health.
So maybe I am addicted to supplements. Or maybe I just want to be healthy. It sure beats taking drugs I guess.