Category Archives: Stories

May I Have Some Pie, Please

I’m really craving something sweet this evening, but tomorrow is weigh-in Wednesday (I know, I know, it’s only Tuesday, but you regulars know the story). Instead of a treat, I thought I’d reminisce about sweets.

I was visiting my friend Jeanette, and one evening we decided to go to an old restaurant for dessert. It was one of those places with a counter and booths… no tables. It also happened to have a mighty collection of pies; unfortunately, it didn’t have one of those rotating pie carousels.

Raspberry pie made the list…which surprised me. You don’t often see it in restaurants. I asked the waitress, “Do you really have raspberry pie?

“Uh-huh,” the high schooler replied.

“I’ll have that.”

Jeanette ordered strawberry shortcake.

When the waitress returned with our order, she presented me with the saddest piece of crust I had ever seen. Only a hint of red filling was visible inside the slice.

This didn’t look like it would be a very memorable slice. I poked it with my fork and tried to get a decent crust-to-filling ratio…which seemed impossible with this berry-deficient recipe.

I took my first taste. Sweet, but Continue reading



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A Year Since Alli

It was one year ago today when I first tried Alli, that over-the-counter pill that magically zaps the fat in your diet and doesn’t let it get absorbed by your body. Let me warn you this story gets a little graphic on the bodily functions front, so skip this post if you’re a wimp about that sort of thing.

Last year I decided to give Alli a try. Afterall, even if their literature stressed it was no wonder drug, how could anyone resist the promise of a low fat diet while still eating all the fat you can swallow. Plus, at that time I simply wasn’t ready to make a “real” commitment to health, so popping a pill sounded like an appealing alternative.

I had been taking the pill with meals for a week. As warned, my bowel movements were oilier than usual…the fat has to go somewhere, right. But overall, the side effects were quite mild compared to the label’s warning. That was until Chinese buffet — Alli’s archenemy.

We had just set up Liam’s booth for the art show in Elkhart Lake and had to drive into Sheboygan for some supplies. While we were there, we opted to feed at one of our favorite Chinese buffets.

I was pretty confident a healthy serving of General’s Chicken and some eggrolls would be no match for Alli. I was right…for about 24 hours. That’s when I could feel my stomach starting to churn as if some intergalactic parasite had hatched in my body ala the movie Alien.

It was almost as if I could follow the food travel through my intestines by simply following the gurgling noises.

About an hour after going to bed that evening in the RV, I urgently woke up as every ounce of grease from the buffet was ready to evacuate from my body…immediately!

I could tell this was going to be a bigger job than our motorhome toilet was up for. Plus, it’s hard to do that kind of “business” with Liam trying to sleep on the other side of the thin bathroom door.

I began my quick-stepped walk to the nearby resort to use their industrial toilets. My gut was twisting and groaning. I waddled onward.

Just as I approached the resort, I had my first thought that maybe I wouldn’t make it to the toilet. I looked to the bushes and considered taking a “natural” detour.

I convinced myself that with the right amount of focus, I could arrive at the throne in time. I sqeezed my cheeks together as I hurried passed the front desk…then up some stairs…then down a hall to the bathroom.

I pushed right into a stall, and just as I began dropping my pants, the wretched liquid began to expel from my body. The first squirt didn’t entirely make the intended target, the bowl, but my underwear and shorts only had one oily spot to the back (there’s a warning for that on the Alli label).

I stayed in that position for about 20 minutes as an almost endless supply of the most offensive-smelling debris sprayed from my body.

It was terribly disgusting, and the cramping and monstrous sounds coming from my gut had me convinced that I might end up disemboweled…I was already imagining my emergency crawl to the front desk with my pants around my ankles and my intestines following behind.

Two hours passed…with waves of “I’m doing fine” to “dear lord take me now” interchanging at will. Finally, the liqud squirts ceased, my belly stopped moaning, and I had used about a roll of toilet paper trying to absorb all the oils coming from my backside.

Once the moment passed, my body was back to normal and the side effects were quite limited. But boy oh boy, I learned that Alli is meant for “healthier” diets as directed. After that sample bottle was gone, my Alli use ended. And although I never had another experience like that night in Elkhart Lake, I never quite trusted my body and weight control drugs.

I also wonder if there are many other men who have tried Alli…and are willing to admit it. Heck, talk about bodily functions seems to be a popular guy thing, right?


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Good Eats On the Love Boat

The other day Liza told me the story of a friend who was on a cruise made up of Japanese tourists. For the most part, a cruise is a cruise is a cruise, right? Well, taking advantage of a tour of the ship, this friend learned of one significant difference.

The tour guide and her Japanese translator took the group through the various parts of the ship. Near the main dining room, the guide pointed out a separate room; she opened the door and it was filled to the brim with food for the trip. As expected, the eyes of the group widened at the sight of a enormous stockade filled to the brim with wonderful food. The guide then walked them to the room next door. It was empty, but clearly identical to the previous room. “And this is the other food room…we need to fill that when we have American tours.”

Yup, this cruise line has to have twice as much food for an American group as it does for a Japanese group. This really doesn’t surprise me…even in my own travels to other countries, the concept of giant portions and appetizers…full meals…mounds of dessert was much less the norm (however, that seems to be changing).

Overeating has slowly been built into our culture. A 1,500 calorie meal has become normal. Grab and go foods forgo any attempt to retain the healthy attributes of the foods they replace. No one thinks twice about dipping a battered and fried piece of onion into a vat of full-fat Ranch dressing. It’s normal.

NO! It’s not normal. Eating until your stuffed is NOT normal. A brick of cheesecake is NOT normal. NO. NO. NO. Especially since we’re starting to eat these things without thinking…because we’re starting to believe it’s normal.

I’m breaking this type of thinking in my own habits. I hope you’re all doing the same.

Wanna see what I mean? Check out some of the worst restaurant foods out there….

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Rules of Engagement at the Buffet

Really good buffets and smart eating, just don’t seem to go together. Today, my friend Dustin and I rode our bikes to the best Indian buffet in town (Maharaja). I was very careful to not “over do it.” In fact, I’d say I only ate half of what I used to eat when I’d go there.

However, I still walked out feeling stuffed…a feeling I haven’t had that often in the last three weeks. And when I tapped in the estimated calories for the meal…OUCH…2201! More than my daily allowance. It was the coconut soup, chai tea and fried veggies with their “hidden” calories.

Even though I failed on controlling my caloric intake for the meal, I still have some notes on how I managed to cut my buffet intake in half:

• Don’t overload on the first trip…it’ll still be there when you come back
• Don’t try to sample everything in one round…focus on two or three items
• Pay attention to your plate — not the endless options of the buffet
• If you must go back for some wonderful treat, only take ONE MOUTHFUL, instead of another whole serving
• Take a break between trips
• Plan for dessert and make sure you save room for it
• Be gentle with the fried food and creamy sauces
• Stick to the fresh, “naked” foods (those without a lot of fixins)
• Drink lotsa water
• Park ten blocks away, so at least you burn a few calories going in and out

There you have it, 10 tidbits of advice that I really should have heeded today.


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My Video Has Been Stolen

So I’m perusing YoutTube and come across a video with MY PICTURE on it…and it’s from some user in India. Hmmmm, very interesting.

I click.

It’s an ad for a website claiming to get rid of love handles.

Then, the text fades and the video of me stacking cereal boxes appears.

What the…

They completely ripped off my content…and they didn’t even get creative!

I went to the site they (or is it now ME) were advertising. Of course there is no way to contact the site owner…just a way to buy their e-book for $50. Why the heck would they choose my video…did they spot my love handles 😉

A little poking around and there are several other YouTube videos sporting my “25 Pounds of Tasty Cereal” title…and they’re all selling stuff…and the one featuring a woman working out is, well, very weird…bordering on perverse.

I guess they’re banking on that video going viral or something. I just wish they showed some element of creativity in their approach…I could at least appreciate that. Instead, they appear to be done by evil computer programs that probably snooped through my tags.

Although some would say plagiarism is supposed to be a compliment, I don’t know how I feel about my IDEA and MY IMAGE being stolen and used to sell some questionable book.

Anyway, I lodged a complaint with YouTube.


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Push Up Challenge – Beat by a girl

Diane has answered the call to HELP ME LOSE 25 POUNDS. Today we took a break from our exhibit work and took the One Hundred Push Ups Challenge. The goal is to work up to one hundred consecutive push ups.

I pressed out 20…a number I was quite pleased with. Wonder Woman Diane kicked my bee-hind with a whopping 30. Yes, I was beat by a girl, but this is about besting myself, not Diane…did I mention she’s a superhero when she’s not at the office.

We’re going to gradually work our way to 100 pushups by following the plan at You can find a few more pics here.

Anyone else plan to give it a try???

Follow our progress from the How Am I Doing page

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Mis-Measuring Success

I need tinier dishes! I’ve been doling out food in the “suggested serving size” rations, and, yikes, that’s a bit of a shocker. I can’t remember the last time I only ate four crackers or 2 oz of pasta.

But things really took a turn when I measured out my morning cereal. After the popularity of my 25 Pounds of Cereal video, I felt a special bond with this morning’s bowl. I grabbed my new, collapsible measuring cup and scooped up a serving of breakfast.

The flakes barely covered the bottom of the bowl. “Ugh, this is gonna be harder than I thought.” There was hardly anything there; it was downright depressing. A few drops of milk were all it took to wet the cereal. In about four spoonfuls, my breakfast was gone.

I continued my morning ritual…but the minuscule size of breakfast kept rolling in my head. I went back to measuring cup, convinced it was lying to me. The inspection turned up an confirmed that I used the one cup scoop, but I just kept looking at it…then comparing it to the half-cup. They were different shapes, but the one-cupper didn’t appear to hold much more than the half-cupper.

The scene bothered me so much I filled the half-cup with water and poured it into the one-cup. A-hah! They DID hold the same amount. “What kind of idiot designed these things?” I howled toward the fridge.

It was right at my moment of triumph when I realized the one-cup looked a little different along the rim. A closer review and a light push on the silicone and I realized I hadn’t fully expanded the collapsible measuring cup.

I WAS ONLY GIVING MYSELF HALF A PORTION. Heck, when the actual portion seems a bit sparse, a half-portion seems downright microscopic.

After the discovery, I immediately fixed myself another bowl and enjoyed a double-round of breakfast. It tasted much better the second time around


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