Sunday, June 17, 2012


My weight loss trends remain very good.  However, sometimes, I am amused if not confused by the details.

In particular, this morning I dropped three pounds, after being down a pound yesterday.  That's on top of two pounds Thursday, for a total of six pounds since Wednesday.   I fully expect half of that to come rocketing back in the normal course of events, and actually prefer it would.  My healthy target is to lose 1-3 pounds a week, no more, and it's only more than 2 pounds because I'm exercising in part to avoid muscle loss.  (I also cleared it with my physician.)

Never mind that I had pizza two nights in a row and went over my daily budget at least one day during that period.

I blame portion control and my overall clean living, in particular that I've gotten at least some light exercise in the last 24 days out of the last 30.  Maybe that's how I wore out a connector for the heart monitor, which snapped off today when I unmounted the monitor from the chest strap after riding the exercise bike:

Aw, snap!   One connector for my Polar Monitor is AWOL

Fortunately, like Foghorn Leghorn, "I always keep a spare in my locker".

Slightly more seriously, my longer trend is making me feel like a bit of a freak.    My two month record is over two pounds a week, and doesn't seem to have any short term road blocks.  If that were average results for Weight Watchers and similar sensible plans, the world be a thinner place.  Katherine and I agree, Weight Watcher's metrics just happen to be a natural compliment to my own methods.    This hit home yesterday, as when I poked about the online Weight Watcher tools I came across a page which reported the number of days I had recorded my intake, which was 100% of the days since I started.  Since both I eat and use a computer every day, why wouldn't I record the data?

In any case, I'll try to keep it going while it works.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Miles Milestone

I have a spreadsheet which reaches back into the mists of time, with my weight recorded at least 115 times a year since 2001, and more sporadic entries going back another 10 years and beyond.   It also has acquired other data over the the years, like the occasional blood pressure check.

I am consistent when and how I weigh myself, making the weight tracking is fairly routine and accurate.  Years ago, I added prediction for any weight loss based on the periods of January, year-to-date, and the last 30 days.   This spring, the "last 30 days" prediction was off by a only days as to when would I hit my first goal (17 pounds lost), not bad for the input I gave it.

The blood pressure measurement is sufficient to assure me that I'm normal.   I am vaguely amused at how my resting pulse has dropped a little during my current fitness kick, but it's not worth tracking more closely.

The absolute worse metric in the spreadsheet I have is "miles exercised".  It started with number of the bicycle miles I had ridden, got the stationary bike added as its own column, then walking, and now elliptical trainer.   These are at best apples-to-hotdog comparisons, but I keep it up in part because it serves as a binary flag for having exercised at all on particular day, and that by itself is useful.

Yet, like swooning over cheap sticker awards for losing 5 pounds, I still care about the number of miles.   In particular, in the past ten years the most miles I've ever recorded is 602, and yesterday this young year moved beyond the rest of the pack and into second place with 308.  By summer's end I could be at a 10 year high.   That would be nice.

(Having done ~ 1500+ road miles on my bicycle in 1985, I suspect my all time record is safe for another summer, if not much longer.)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fitness, meet Feline Fate

Getting the bike out of the back of the garage is a pain (we actually put cars in there!), and lately I've wanted it accessible.  Thus, it's been tempting fate in the front hall.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Next Five Year Mission

Five years and two months ago, I moved to the Puget Sound area to join Google as an SRE.  Alas, in the last year, supporting the production side of things has started to burn me out. So, as of today, it's official: I have a new job. I have transferred from SRE to regular software engineering, which puts me back where I belong: writing code.

That I have already been here for for five years is not unique, as I previously stayed at three other employers for over five years each. But it is unique that I now have no interest to go beyond down the hall, since I've never been at any company for six years -- one I left to finish school, another I departed from once they lost their hunger for bleeding edge technology, and the last seemed to view software engineers as an necessary evil.

(That last company was more comfortable with programmers who limited their world view to Microsoft IIS and SQL Server; being a snob, I am not sure they count as software engineers.  So sue me.)

But Google does want people like me, they do hunger for the bleeding edge, and there is the small fact of where it ranks in terms of the best companies to work for.   That's a beauty contest, perhaps, but it's nice to work for an entrant.

My five year mission as an SRE is complete.  So let's see what I can do to earn my keep here for another five years.