Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Weight On My Shoulders… And Elsewhere 2

Week 1 Update: Week 1 came to an end as a success! I lost 7.2 pounds! The biggest challenges I am finding is with this diet (The 17 Day Diet) is food prep and exercise. With most any healthy way of eating, stuff out of the can will not result in “healthy” eating. Canned veggies may be somewhat healthier than other options but preparing fresh seems to be the path that nets me the best results. This also adds time cooking and what I dread most about cooking…cleaning up after (lol)! That extra effort may be what helps burn an extra calorie or two. Any extra calories burned is a benefit because the weather is not cooperating with exercising. We run the air conditioner during the day and the heat at night. Even though neither the heat or the cold is extreme, the fluctuation is a challenge for my Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This has kept me from fully making a great effort with exercise because the frequent changes in temperature is a trigger for my relapsing. I proceed with caution. But seeing results is encouraging and is still motivating me to continue. The results are not “evident” yet, so no photo this week but if you did not see the starting post, here is the link: http://wp.me/pKLa8-RF

 

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Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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Meet the ASS in TomASS

Only In Vegas

YES, that is a photo of my legal license plate when I lived in Las Vegas. And YES, I that is my nickname. AND YES again, I am proud to put the ass in TomASS. Now… just so you understand, the ass part of my nickname does not refer to any anatomic feature of my body, my Gluteus Maximus is actually quite MINImus! My nickname was given because I am rather honest and direct and this is often confused for being an ass. Add that to the fact my real name is Thomas – we get Tomass.

DivergentA couple years ago, I read “Divergent”, now also a movie. It is set in a dystopian future that has society divided into 5 factions dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. One of the factions is Candor and their virtue is “truth” and they value honesty above all else. They understand that the truth can sometime be sharp and there is a need for transparency, so their “Choosing Ceremony” item is glass. My sister read the book also and said as she read about the Candor faction, she visualized me, even though I feel I am more Divergent (lol).

I should have a warning label that reads, “Don’t ask me ANY questions without being prepared for Honestyan honest answer.” Most that know me know the dangers of even simple questions like, “How do you like my new hairstyle?” or “How do I look in these jeans?” I do see value in honesty. Do not think it is a one-way street, I expect people to be honest with me as well. If my breath is bad, tell me so I can do something about it. If and outfit looks bad, tell me so I don’t priss out wearing it again thinking I am so cute (lol)! 

Now we also need to establish that just as I will call someone out on their political, religious or social views; I do not mind being called out on mine. I grew up in a small town where the VAST majority all think the same: Jesus, conservatives, and conformist are all good traits; while being nonreligious, progressive thinking, and Sophiarebellious are bad traits. I never knew any different until I moved and people began to challenge me on my views and I not only learned, I grew as a person. I feel I am better member society because the opinions I have now were formed by experiencing a variety of life experiences and people that were honest enough with me to take the time to talk and share – even when we did not agree.

Many feel agreement is how a conversation or debate should end. That is FAR from what I seek when having conversations, discussions, or even debates. For many, a debate is seen as argument. But here is where I venture a little from a simple ass to being an asshole – if you can not defend and support your opinions… don’t expect to be taken seriously. If you have opinions and are frightened of those with different opinions, face the fear of learning Karenand ask questions, challenge others and one day you could be like me an opinionated ass that is proud to share and learn.

A LOT of people like or even love the characters Sophia on “The Golden Girls” and Karen on “Will & Grace” because they were so bluntly honest. It is kind of how I hope others see me, although I have learned some are not brave enough for a friendship with the likes of me (Sophia or Karen), their opinions and views may be too weak or undeveloped to be challenged. But it is one more reason for me to love the friends I do have because even if they are a different faction and do not value the truth above all else, they have decided I am not a lost cause. After all this I have shared, I hope others see the ass in Tomass simple means I am a human in training like all of us should be! I would much rather be an ass man than a yes man! 

Blogging is not free!  Please help cover the costs!

Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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The Weight on My Shoulders… and Elsewhere :-/

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

There is something about San Francisco that gets my attention regarding my weight. Six years ago, I was in a friend’s wedding in San Francisco and almost had Grrra breakdown when I saw the photos. I was horrified at how I looked. In the six years since, 4 -5 of those years I had actually gotten down to my ideal weight and was happy with my weight. This last year has been a struggle not only as my Multiple Thomas_in_BogotaSclerosis (MS) continues to progress, hampering my ability to exercise, but realizing I had returned to the same weight I had been in the wedding photos that shook me up so is depressing. Well…. I am shaking again after visiting my friends in San Francisco and seeing myself in photos that again horrify me! 

After the wedding, I moved to Colombia, South America. There, a lifestyle with no car, that necessitated the simple act of walking more; access to healthier food at a much lower cost; with the additional benefit of a climate that was more beneficial for my MS and I found being healthier… easier. My MS combined with a tight budget has landed me back to a life in The States and my weight reflects my frustrations with adapting. 

In an effort to create some accountability, I plan to “blog” about my journey back to my ideal weight or my attempt to make this happen. I plan to post about once a week about what I am doing, how I am doing it and the results. My goal is to keep it simple… diet (eating healthy) and exercise (walking). I will be following the guidelines of “The 17 Day Diet” (http://www.drmikediet.com/). Here is my “CliffsNotes” of the 17 Day Diet: avoid white foods as much as possible, no starches like rice, potatoes, or bread; eat plenty 20140914_174304of protein and fresh veggies; 2 servings of dairy and 2 servings of fruit daily; drink green tea; and spend at least 17 minutes making a concerted effort at exercise. During the 17 days, I keep a list of foods that I crave during the 17 days and in-between the 17 days cycles, I allow reasonable “treats” from that list and I call these my “cheat days”. So… there will be no more Ghirardelli Chocolate and Wine Festivals. 😦  And yes, that is chocolate on my shirt and I am having a big ice cream AFTER being at a chocolate 20140830_145822festival. Gone are those days!

This is the photo that shook me up this time and that I use as my “before” picture. True, the angle may exaggerate my size a bit… but does not lie… I am that big! I will still post about consumer, social, political and religious issues but also look for updates about my progress. My 17 days began, Monday, October 13, and I weighed in at 227.7 pounds (103.28 kgs). 

Blogging is not free!  Please help cover the costs!

Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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Best Buy Bye

Best Buy Bye

 

In this day and time, MANY businesses are still in dire need of Customer Service 101 lessons. Who gives businesses these lessons, usually for free – the customers. The biggest problem is businesses no longer listen to customers. I know I have offered my share of suggestions to many businesses myself and know I am not alone. Best Buy is a repeat offender with simply pissing me off!

Best Buy was once topped my list of favorite retailers but after an incident a couple of years ago (http://wp.me/pKLa8-Be), it lost its standing and lost much of BBmy business because I was soured with them. Amazon has yet to let me down with costumer service. As I understand things, Best Buy is not adequately competing with  the likes of Amazon and Best Buy fells to see SERVICE is a key reason.

Any desire to do business with Best Buy is GONE. I hate when I am ignored or dismissed. While trying to order a coffee maker, I wanted to use a Best Reward certificate, a couple Visa gift cards and then the balance on my Best Buy MasterCard. Why did I not just get this in a store? The item I was interested in is only available online, there are no stores close to where I live (at least 60 miles away) and I am disabled and shopping online is the best way for me to shop. I found that online, I could not use multiple forms of payment.

I thought surely if I called, the associate that answered would have no problem with this request. I explained why I called, we rebuilt my order and after all of this he informed me he was not able to use multiple forms of payment either. He told me my only solution was to go in a store where they had that capability. AGAIN I explained the item is only available online, the nearest store was 60 miles away and I have Multiple Sclerosis and jumping in the car and driving 60 miles for a coffee maker was an option I WISH I was up to doing or able to do!

Online ordering did not work, calling in did not work, so surely if I sent an e-mail I would get help finding a solution! I was wrong! BB PaymentsAfter explaining the events in an e-mail I wrote at 10:45PM, I was surprised to receive a reply in less than an hour. It was patronizing and very dismissive; with a link to “Supported Payment Methods” (see screenshot). If you are like me, you read Visa on the list and I was under the impression a Visa gift card could be used anywhere Visa is accepted – except for Best Buy! This angered me! Since Best Buy was so fast to be dismissive to me, I have been fast to post this testimony. Whereas it is good to respond to a customer’s e-mail quickly, if VERY LITTLE EFFORT is used to find a solution it would be best to take a little more time. In fact… the e-mail reply from Best Buy only offered me to call Best Buy Reward Specialists to get help using my Best Buy Reward certificate – THAT HAD NOT BEEN A PROBLEM TO USE… it was the Visa Gift cards! AGAIN, the concern was not even addressed. I am guessing disabled online shoppers are such a small part of Best Buy’s business that they do not care and I got that point.

One benefit I had in this situation was my Best Buy MasterCard had a $0.00 balance. I found a fast solution to reducing the temptation to do business online with Best Buy again – I closed my account! CitiBank issued the Best Buy MasterCard to me and even though CitiBank had not been the problem, the account was closed. Actually, the person I spoke with at CitiBank was VERY friendly and after closing that account, I applied for another card at CitiBank. Both Visa gift cards I had were issued by CitiBank… so I think it is sad their business partners using their MasterCard Rewards credit cards can’t also use their Visa gift cards.

Now I have Tell 3000vented to Best Buy, CitiBank and now you, I will remind Best Buy of something Mr.Pete Blackshaw  says and I quoted the last time I had issue with one of their manager’s – “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000”. I highly suggest Best Buy reads this book because I am still averaging around 3,000 views a month on my little blog here, so in my case… I hit well over a total of 3,000, my total is over 53,000 actually! Bye Best Buy!

 

 

Blogging is not free!  Please help cover the costs!

Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

 

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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