Friday, November 29, 2013

What to do with days off

We all get too few of them. I admit to getting more than most. But seriously, do the majority of people prefer using days off for couch-sitting rather than doing things they enjoy or even just getting out of the house?

My dog Gracie and I prefer getting out and doing things together. At the top of her list: going to the dog park. At the top of my list: long walks through unfamiliar trails with her and my cell phone camera. We have some overlap there. Truthfully, she gets more out of the long walks, but the dog park is good for her dog-dog social skills. She needs that. Her dog-human social skills get honed best at Petsmart or through serendipitous encounters, like at Thanksgiving yesterday.

So number one on my list is probably number two on hers, but she's pretty gracious about letting me take the lead in choosing our activities. Heck, she doesn't even mind just going for car rides with me to run errands. She likes doing that, although not as much as the park or walking.

Sitting around the house...that wears on both of us, although I don't know who gets stir-crazy worse. I think, her, but I have more ways of expressing it.

Now, other people in our family view going out to the park, walking, and errand running as no different from going to work.

Did the world just go pear-shaped and weird for you too? Did it? DID IT?

Because that's how I feel when it is suggested to me that a day off is only a real day off if it's spent on the couch from dawn until dusk, without only interruptions for pee-breaks and to acquire food. That's right. It's a dichotomy. Either couch or work. No other states exist. No, not even sleep, because you need sleep in order work (not to live or feel good ... FYI).

I understand not wanting to rush from one activity to another. Frantic pace, not so much me. Full life? Most def! But I cannot understand believing that the only activity suitable for a day off is couch sitting. Especially not in nice terrific weather. Especially not when other activities are handily available, cheap, and ... just there. You know?

I would rather grocery shop or go to the post office than couch-sit during daylight hours. At night? Sure, the couch is a great place to end the day, not spend the day.

To each their own, right? But still, can't we at least agree that going for a long walk through nice scenery with a beloved pet is not the same as being on the job? That doing something with her (and me...ahem) is better than that?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Whew...made it!

So Thanksgiving Eve was a little hairy and miserable, but Thanksgiving Day shaped up pretty darn nicely.

My partner and I took the dog with us to both gatherings. She was a huge hit. Stellar manners and sweet to everyone. Poster child for German Shepherds as familial companions. For the win!

The peeps were very welcoming. No politics, no religion, no drug use, no fighting, no drama, I would most definitely do this again. Even the drive to Cobb was pleasant. The sunset coming back...magnificent!

Partner is dead on the couch listening to football now.

Tomorrow, the question is: to shop or not to shop? My family draws names for gifts. It's supposed to be secret, who got whose name, but I already know three. I got one of my gorgeous twin step-sisters. helpme

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Follow-up to previous

Okay. The neighbor left after about an hour and a half, during most of which my partner was telling him to leave. Not a smart one. I was still mad, but trying not to give off that vibe. I don't think I was entirely successful.

So...about ten minutes later, partner informs me that after going to my grandmother's for a larger-than-average Thanksgiving, we will be driving up to Cobb County to see his brother, nephew, and friends for a couple hours.

Here's the thing with that. The last time he visited these friends they revved him up with ring-wing politics and evangelical christianity and sent him back to me in such a way as to inspire this post. At least, I think that was the one. I may have not posted the one I wrote first off because it was too personal. He came back angry. He came back with me scoped in as the appropriate target. Now, I am butt-fuck terrified that he's taking me there for a verbal-emotional gang-bang.

I do not want.

But he's going to my family Thanksgiving, so not only can I not refuse to go, I can't even have the conversation.

Hey, are you going to turn me over to your friends to learn how to be a subservient christian woman who'll never challenge your sacred manhood again with her highfalutin notions of honor, courage, and integrity?

That wouldn't go over so well.

The fact that he sprang this on me last-minute is actually a sort of blessing. I could not have functioned at work with this hanging over my head.

Let's all sing Sword of Damocles from Rocky Horror now. I'll be Rocky.

I wish I knew how this will turn out. I don't often wish for the gift of foresight. I wish I had a scosche right now.

Prediction: this will not end well.

ETA: It is after 2:15 AM and the fight just ended. I did not expect that. Tomorrow, I hope we don't go for a repeat.

Twas the night before Thanksgiving

I'll be venting here, thanks.

I am essentially trapped in my office space right now, after a full day at work (understaffed), unable to change clothes, have some dinner, play with my dog, or do anything but type and listen to music on my phone via a pair of ghetto ear-buds. That's right, ear-buds I dug out of my bookshelf. Who knows where they actually came from?


My partner, despite being repulsed by the idea of befriending any of the regular folks I've introduced him to, has taken up with a mentally addled moron who lives in our neighborhood. Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe these people? Well...I'll fill you in some other time, but let's just say, not my peeps here, except for one older lady whom I know from work.

The moron is downstairs drinking beer and speaking unintelligibly to my partner and dog. She is only just tolerating him and may snap at any moment. If not for the legal complications, I'd welcome that. Maybe dipshit wouldn't come back. So...angry right now.

I'm trying to listen to happy upbeat music to keep myself from having a freaking aneurysm here. Arghhh...

BTW...Boney M's By the Rivers of Babylon is still hilarious, twelve - thirteen years after my German teacher first played it for the class, but even Boney M cannot fix this. I used it in grad school to drown out the sounds of sex from upstairs. Big place in my heart.

I put in a full day! That guy's a moron! Can no one see the farking injustice here???

I want to take off my shoes and my itchy sweater!

I think I'm running out of high-speed data too.

My partner will be joining me on a walk for this one, for sure. -_-

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I meant to update sooner

This is going to be a kluge update of pretty much everything that I feel needs updating:


They refunded my payment, cheerfully, and genuinely wanted to know why their weight loss app didn't work for me. I haven't responded yet - too busy - but I appreciate that they reached out. That was very good customer service.

Library Annie

I couldn't get the site I use to make the comic to work. I'll try it again next time I have a minute.


I'm still waiting to hear back from Nat Geo Books Most Devoted Dog Contest. No idea what's up with that. I'm almost positive that Gracie won (thank you all!), but ... nothing from them yet, and the Facebook app went away. Am I right to be concerned? Hmm...


Almost over. So glad. I can't wait to do feedback for this course.


I love the holidays. My partner hates every holiday but Veteran's Day. More will be forthcoming there.


It may snow on Thanksgiving in Georgia. Really.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Another long walk

Today, Gracie and I conquered another 4.6 miles of cart path, enjoying the cool, although sadly cloudy weather. I love overcast days myself, but they make for lackluster photographs, particularly of the autumn, which needs direct sunlight to sell its superiority over summer and spring to misguided lovers of those seasons.
Would be even prettier with a blue sky, preferably dotted
with fluffy clouds.

Rockspray Park is actually not one of the best. It needs some lovin' from somebody. I don't know who...but it's still nice after walking for an hour on trails behind people's houses.

The best part is the bridge (not pictured), but even that needs a spit-polish. I wish I had had more time to walk around the pond, but that's something for another day. Right?

Gracie had a very nice time today, but instead of still having energy at the end of the day, she was completely exhausted. I wonder what makes the difference? We walked over six miles last time. Today, not even five. She carried less weight today too.

Oh, I also encountered my first lost person in the path system today. I use my phone for path maps, so I'm forever checking it in new territory. I actually gave the person decent enough directions for them to reach the Kroger - spotted them there when we got back to the car. Hee!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You too can go walking

I know I post a lot about the treks I take through woodsy suburbia with and without my dog. For one thing, I like posting the pictures and bragging about how far I went on my various excursions. Not cool, I know, but I get some satisfaction there.

Anyway, the area I live in or near is pretty special to me, but it isn't special in the sense of being singular or unique.

If you live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, you actually have a good area for walking, even if it isn't as nature-filled or dog-safe (hullo, cars!).

If not, I encourage you to visit your county parks and recs website to check out places you can walk intended for that purpose. You might be surprised. If you live near a neighboring, non-hostile county, I recommend checking their resources too. My county has no parks to speak of. No safe parks period. But the county where I was born and where I work has some serious acreage designated as recreational space, including well-maintained trails with restrooms.

Also, you might want to try Google Earth and to find less official walking trails and pathways to enjoy. Just zoom down and start looking for things that are not roads. Or for roads with sidewalks. I use Gmap to plan some of my outings, especially those going into unfamiliar territory.

You never know what you might find in terms of scenery and special places.

If you're willing to drive, try looking into your local or semi-local state parks. I'm too faraway from mine, but if I could get to one in 30 minutes or less, I would be there once a month, at least, weather-permitting.

And if at all possible, remember to take only photographs and leave only paw prints.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10k course with dog

Gracie and I walked the PTC Running Club 10k course this afternoon. Our time was 2 hours, 3 minutes, including a couple breaks for water, photography, and phone calls. We also ran together for a bit to make up lost time. I think we did pretty good overall.

The weather today was really excellent for long-distance walking. The wasn't much over 60, and the sun was out most of the time - no sweating and no shivering. Hey, who doesn't like to be comfortable, right?

The foliage was still good, especially at Luther Glass Park. Glance at the picture. That's some pretty vivid yellow for mid-November. Totally raw, not at all 'shopped.

The lakeshore pictures were too dark to bother posting. I hate the early loss of light in winter. We should save us some daylight year round, in my opinion.

BTW, I opted against the control collar for Gracie this afternoon because she's been good lately and because I didn't wanted to carry her water. That's right. I put my dog in a doggy backpack, and she carried two bottles of water, her control collar (just in case), and my glucose tablets. Probably about 3lbs of weight or less. Convention says that a dog can easily carry 10% of her/his weight. She didn't seem to mind at all.

The backpack is a Kurgo that I got from Amazon in hopes of bringing out her working-dog genes - she's descended from police dogs and cadaver dogs - and honestly, I think the pack did give her extra focus. The fit was very good, although it took a couple tries to get everything tight and even. Well worth the effort. I think passersby got some amusement from it too.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Really, refs? Really?

I actually wanted Carolina to win tonight. I'm a Jets fan and therefore am morally obliged to hate the Patriots, and Cam Newton is really cool. But pass interference IS pass interference, even at the end of the game.

That totally spoiled a really watchable football game.

Just saying.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Just a quickie post

After a long Saturday at work, I came home to this:

That's right. Homemade meatloaf in a heart-shaped pan. My partner made this for us. Awww....

Friday, November 15, 2013

Even though I'm working tomorrow, it's still FRIDAY today

Sometimes, I think people forget that workers have homes and families too. You know?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

More on Noom App

Quick refresher: Noom is a weight loss app with both free and premium versions. I tried the premium, because I had a spark of hope that this might be the thing that helped me conquer my plateau. Let's start with the positive:

Cost. I paid $24.99 for a lifetime Noom subscription. Supposedly, it is refundable. I just put in my request this morning. Considering how expensive some of the monthly subscription apps are, this is a pretty good deal, if you're willing to buy apps for your phone. I tend not to do so. I've been playing the free version of Triple Town for over a year now. Just FYI.

Functionality. Noom will not let you down or give you up. No, seriously now, the app itself is well-designed, functional, reliable, and unobtrusive. It does not crash, hang-up, or drain my phone battery. These are all good things, ne? Overall, it is enjoyable to use and in the beginning, even kind of fun, although that wears off a little bit.

Now more the negative:

Philosophy. Noom bases its dieting philosophy on Volumetrics, a fairly ancient and hoopty method of weight loss that may not be suitable for many people. To be fair, a person over 300 lbs who is just beginning to try to eat differently would almost certainly benefit from this (and all other) means of weight loss that's based on calories restriction. It just makes sense. But for other groups it is likely to be needlessly frustrating and harmful. If a person basically has their dieting ducks in a row, but still can't lose that last 10 to 20 lbs, I seriously doubt this would help them in any way.

Additionally, Noom is likely to cause severe harm to anyone with a slew of preexisting conditions who uses their diet, which is extremely carbohydrate heavy and allergy-unfriendly. I'm a Type I diabetic. If I ate as they recommend, I would either gain weight or die from complications from high blood sugar. I would also die fuzzy-headed, cranky, and emotionally detached because of the excessive amount of grains (gluten) touted by this diet. People with celiac's...I think it could cause them severe harm too, but I'll let them speak to that one.

Noom goes through a lot of trouble to try and smear people who use low-carb or low-glycemic diets. It is actually pretty damn disgusting the amount of misinformation they are willing to spread on this topic. I lost all respect for their system once I started reading their anti-Atkins articles.

Partnerships. If you knew that your dieting app was in bed with a homophobic organization, would you keep the app? I have a pretty unflinching moral compass when it comes to groups that participate in anti-gay hate-speech. I marched in college. I gave in my twenties. I will again someday. So help me.

That's why I find Noom's partnership with Curves so utterly unbearable. I naively used the gym in my, tell you what we're naming names here. I used the Curves in Fayetteville, Georgia. They routinely played homophobic music, mostly about murdering gay people - yes, I'm serious here. I mentioned that I thought it wasn't cool. OMG...snide. I quit going. Also, no, it didn't help me get into shape.

Not cool, Noom, not cool.

So that's it in a nutshell right there. I just requested my refund a little while ago. I will let you know if they don't cough up, like they advertise they will.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

That was farther than I thought

I had the day off on use-it-or-lose-it leave today, so I decided to take my puppy on a nice long walk on the cart paths. We decided to hit the path system at its eastern-most point, because I had other errands to run, few of which got done. Unfortunately, construction blocked the intended route and instead of walking about 1.5 miles, maybe closer to 2 miles, Gracie and I walked 4.58 miles according to my Fitbit, including 33 stories in upward elevation change.

Needless to say, she's asleep right now, twitching in front of the roaring fireplace. I'm reaching for the Aleeve myself.

I just couldn't double-back. I guess it's a form of navigational stubbornness, similar to men not asking directions, but I can't retrace my steps on a walk. I have to make a circle. And what a circle that was!

I wish I had pictures, but the scenery was mostly horrible, except for the enormous houses, and it would have been creepy to photograph those.

Next time, I think I'll plan my route more carefully, to avoid construction, and to avoid constantly using my phone to navigate. I'm sure I looked like a tool checking it every half-mile or so.

Tomorrow, we may go to the park and walk the trail, which is a one-mile loop. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another post about dog rescuing

You may remember this post from when I first started blogging and people belittled me and gave me a hard time about owning a non-rescue dog.

I ran into someone last week, maybe last Saturday, who had a very similar experience to mine while dealing with the same local humane society. It's the one for Clayton County, Georgia. I don't mind saying that now that I know they dump on other people too and not just me. I'd link, but I doubt they have a website.

Anyway, the rescuer experienced the same excoriating grilling that I also endured, but since she was an experienced dog owner, they didn't kick her to the curb or offer her only geriatric or sick animals for adoption. In fact, she found the dog she wanted there! That's actually awesome for the dog, regardless of how I feel about the group. However, in order to get the dog, she had to tear down her fence and built one more to their liking, despite the fact that the small dog in question could no more have gotten out, from what she described, than it could have sprouted wings!

You heard that right. To rescue a dog, someone actually had to do an unnecessary major construction/renovation project. That's quite simply fucked up.

I'm adding this to the list of reasons why I hate rescues. I am clearly not as nice as the rescuer in this scenario. If I already had a fenced yard that I felt could safely contain a dog, I would have walked before letting some evil-ass hairdo at an animal rescue bully me into tearing it down and building another, probably more expensive, one.

My dog has grown up without the advantages of a fence, unfortunately, but she goes out on leash or tether, but of course, my girl is a purebred.

This is the look that Gracie gives me when I tell her how rescue groups treat people who want to give homes to less fortunate dogs.

Actually...just in case anyone gets the wrong idea, she is in middle of sneezing. We're both keenly allergic to ragweed and I just happened to be taking a picture.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Before it gets too cold outside

We decided to go back to Line Creek Nature Area. The weather was warm this afternoon - hovering around sixty degrees - so we decided to give the dog a last romp at the park, which is pretty tolerant of off-leash pups.

While Gracie was not interested in getting totally wet today, she did enjoy drinking long drafts of river water and splashing in the shallows, as well as scaring people and running around like a half-crazed dingo.

The day was beautiful, in spite of a lack of sunshine, and the changing leaves, while not spectacular this year (or in this area in general) were quite unexpectedly nice to look at, especially along the lake shore. The water was as clear and still as glass today, like a reflecting pond.

I want to visit the park at Lake McIntosh sometime soon, but I'm not sure if they've finished with construction yet. A lot of maps still have not been updated properly to show the lake's existence. I assure you - it is very much there. I have the pictures to prove it.

I actually took about fifty pictures of the area, Gracie, and my partner this afternoon. A lot of them turned out very nice, especially for pictures made from a cell phone. It's a Samsung Galaxy something-or-other.

Anyway, the trail was relatively short. All told, we walked 3.1 miles with a lot of up-and-down, including some scrambling over rock piles, tree roots, and other rugged terrain.

This is just an example from the shoals area of the creek, not too far from the entrance. We were moving too fast to get any decent trail shots. Maybe next time, which will likely be in the spring, unless we have an unexpected warm spell during one of the weekends I'm not working.

I'm not betting on it.

Still, fun times today. I may post more pic-spam with dog later on.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gracie's Day

I have alternating Fridays off, thanks to a pretty sweet work schedule, so instead of doing my errands alone today, I took the dog with me for about four hours of riding around. It was under 70 today, so I promise it was not inhumane. She had water and stuff to keep her attention- mainly passersby from whom she guarded the car. Good girl.

Starting out, she thought we were going to the distant dog park, but when I began making unfamiliar turns, she only howled with anxiety for maybe five minutes (straight) before accepting her lot in life and settling down.

When I came back from the pharmacy, I found that she had taken over the passenger seat, normally reserved for my purse and phone. I let her ride there until we got to the next pharmacy. Try being a diabetic who still uses syringes and likes a particular gauge, needle-length, capacity, and brand, then tell me how many pharmacies you visit. That's what I thought.

Unfortunately, Gracie blocked my view too much to ride up front, so she was banished to the backseat again.

We stopped for a potty break, during which I heard a youngish girl ask her mother my favorite Gracie-related question, Mommy, is that a WOLF?

Gracie does not have the traditional black-saddle of the German Shepherd Dog, owing that she is from three-quarters working lines, which valued a straight back and killer brain over mere coat coloration. She is not a) part wolf or b) unfit for the show ring. I'm unfit for the show ring. She's awesome.

After that, we went to the grocery stores and met up with her daddy at Petsmart. She was pretty tired just from being awake so long in the middle of the day, so she was very sociable and if not calm, not bad enough to draw commentary.

She ended the day with an upfront ride with daddy, who lets the window down way too far.

Every so often, she'd look back at me, following them, and grin.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Want to win a Kindle Fire? So do I!

Kindle HDX NOvember This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Ripple Effect Romance Series
  4. Dark Motive's Books & More
  5. Fae Books
  6. Author Marianne Morea
  7. Buku-Buku Didi
  8. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  9. Author Stacy Claflin
  10. Patchwork Press
  11. Author Louise Caiola
  12. Author Bella Street
  13. Author Bonnie Blythe
  14. Author Julia Crane
  15. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  16. Author Kim Cresswell
  17. A Bookish Escape
  18. Author Talia Jager
  19. Mother Daughter Book Reviews
  20. Fiction Dreams
  21. Book Angel Booktopia
  22. Kelly's Lucky You
  23. Author Roxanne Crouse
  24. Author Rachelle Christensen
  25. Author Jennifer Laurens
  26. Hardback Book Hotties
  27. Lori's Reading Corner
  28. Author Misty Moncur
  29. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
  30. Author Elizabeth Isaacs
  31. Living, Learning and Loving Life
  32. Fairiechick's Fantasy Book Reader
  33. My Story That I Like Best
  34. LeahSay's Views
  35. Christine's Blog
  36. Candle Light Reads
  38. The Demon Librarian
  39. SMIBookClub
  40. Author T.L. Clarke
  41. Back Off My Books
  42. Michael SciFan
  43. Author Carole Brown
  44. Coffee and Characters
  45. No Thought 2 Small
  46. Stanley and Katrina, Pet Authors
  47. Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
  48. Love Bites & Silk
  49. Kimber Leigh Writes
  50. Author Rae Z. Ryans
  51. Author Georgina Young-Ellis
  52. The Reporter and the Girl
  53. Fic Central
  54. Like a Broken Vessel
  Sign up to Sponsor the December Giveaway (starting around December 2nd)   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 11/30/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bipartisan relationships

I am a Clinton democrat; my partner is a Reagan republican. I think that pretty much paints the picture. I'm a democrat based on hopes of social progress; he is a republican based on hopes of economic prosperity. We fight about politics on a fairly regular basis. Not argue. Fight. I am confrontation-averse, so I try to go through life without mentioning or showing interest in anything political around my partner. Not easy, but I think I do pretty well.

I wish I could compare my methods and our limited success rate with other couples in the same ideological boat, but I'm not sure enough of us exist for any meaning comparison. It's a hard row to hoe. I'm not sure many people would want to or be able to do it, even with the extravagant blow-outs we sometimes have taken into account.

Do other people draw lines in the sand? I can't because there is literally nothing he hasn't said to me over politics.

I cannot conceive of a workable way to handle this source of conflict, except to give up every belief I hold dear, which to me, is actually a fate worse than physical death, because what are we without our ideals? Is someone who holds no convictions, political or otherwise, fully human? Aren't the intangible things the components of our innermost self (souls)? If I did not love justice, for example, would I still be the same person I am now? If I did not believe in equality, would my daily walk through this world look or be different? I think we're made of our deeply held beliefs. We are that feeling of right-or-wrong that defies religion, social structure, class, etc.

And, yes, I try every time we fight to explain why I won't just do/think/believe as he wants me to do. He can't grasp it. Nothing I say or even write for him penetrates, and that well and truly baffles me. I can understand why he has his beliefs. He wants to make more money and pay less taxes and for the world to be as it was in his youth. Easy-peasy. Why keeps him from doing the same? Ever?

Well...I guess that's more personality than political persuasion, in either sense.

For the record, I have never tried to change his mind about anything. I respect his life experiences and what brought him to his conclusions about politics. I totes understand wanting more money. Really, I do. I just don't get why he can't agree to disagree or put some limits on how far the arguing goes.

Other people have found away through this. I know we will too eventually. I'm just hoping ... sooner rather than later, you know?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Food for thought - Library Annie

A chicken sandwich under the table is worth two in the backpack, says Confucius.

Or not.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Noom update

Here's what I've learned so far: it's the opposite of Paleo/Primal, except that it eschews processed foods. Everything I consider healthy is a red food. Everything they consider healthy does bad things to me. Example: grits. They're basically ground, usually GMO corn, processed and super-fast-burning carbohydrate. Noom thinks they're healthy! I add butter and cheese to slow down the carbohydrate digestion. Noom thinks those are bad.

I think part of the basic problem here is that it refuses to think about macro-nutrients, by its own admission, even though a lot of people have metabolic issues (diabetes, celiac, mood disorders, etc.) that really mean that they should.

Noom is not diabetic friendly, in other words.

That said, the pedometer function is nice for anyone lucky enough to be able to carry their phone all day.

The leveling-up system really boosts the motivation of my inner-gamer. I am already to Level Four, almost to Level Five. I enjoy reading the articles, although I do not agree with some of them.

Most of the challenges are pretty freaking weak. I have a hard time taking any of their recommended steps seriously. I eat a good diet. I exercise frequently. I keep moving. I hydrate. I get almost enough sleep. So everything that Noom tells me is so faraway non-applicable, it almost makes me laugh sometimes. I have already done all this!

Noom also recommends keeping a detailed mood journal to help with emotional eating. This is a really good idea. HOWEVER, Noom does not provide this as a feature. Users have to go fetch their own pen and pad. OMG! You stupid, app! Why can't I track my mood with you? Keep all this in one place? Very disappointing.

Another feature is Groups, where Noom assigns people to semi-random groups to help each other with their goals. I just got mine today. I am really uncomfortable with it so far, because unlike with Fitbit, you aren't choosing your peers, so random algorithm is. My groups looks like Cell Block D. Creepy! But I'm going to try to give them some time.

Supposedly, if this doesn't work out, Noom will issue a refund for the cost of the Pro app. I may end up testing that, but like I said, I am going to give this some more time. So far, not terribly impressed.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Posting lag

I realize that I haven't posted this weekend, and that's primarily because I worked yesterday and spent four hours last night arguing with my partner over politics. Arguing for an hour takes more out of me than walking five the uncomfortable shoes. Seriously. I may need a couple days to bounce back.

In the meantime, I'll just remind everyone that I have a Twitter account that is by no means over-active to the point of annoyance and that I follow some pretty nifty folks there.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Do you Noom?

I'm trying out a new weight-loss app for my phone - Noom. It's available in a free version from the Google Play Store, as well as premium - $24.99 lifetime, on sale now. I tested the free version for a few days and enjoy the interface, although I'm not sure how well this style of ... coaching (?) will work to meet my needs.

The app is actually pretty sophisticated in terms of tracking food and steps (pedometer), but not as wonderful as the Fitbit, which I've probably mentioned before. The app mechanics are nice - extremely intuitive and interactive. In some ways, it's like Spark People and Fitbit had a baby, because Noom provides reading material and other perks too.

The calorie goals are more realistic, and unlike FB, Noom totally judges what I consume, although not necessarily by a criteria that meshes (at all) well with my South Beach (lost 30) and Primal Blueprint (lost 34) background. FB gives me a daily max of about 1600 calories. Noom holds me to 1200, which in modern thinking is much more realistic for moderate weight loss.

Noom doesn't focus on hardcore exercise, but more on moving around more. Given the news articles I've read lately supporting this view, I am not calling this a bad thing at all.

I'm still exploring the app and will update with periodic progress reports. If it doesn't help me break on through (read: get under 150 lbs), I plan to get a refund and try something else.