Browsing "Thoughts"
Jun 27, 2017 - Pokemon, Thoughts, Weight Loss    No Comments

It’s A Revolution 

4 days from now, 2017 will be half over and I’m already seeing that infamous meme- “almost half way through 2017 and I lost no weight, didn’t learn anything, haven’t made an effort to save any money and still ugly”. It seems that every year I see something like that- people who make New Year’s Resolutions but just continue to live the same life and never trying to make anything better and it made me reflect on the first half of 2017 for myself and, honestly, I was pretty damn amazed!

I started off 2017 by not making New Year’s Resolution but by trying to start a Sharky Revolution.

Revolution: a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.

I wanted to overthrow myself in favor of a new me and it seems to be working pretty awesome. I took January away from Facebook- I didn’t make any announcement of it, I just stopped posting and really slowed down on scrolling. I made a post on January 31st announcing that 2017 would be “The Year of The Shark”. So…at the half way point, let’s check out where I’m at-

1.      In January, I was one of only 19 individuals who got a 2016 Outstanding Employee Award, out of several hundred. There were several more “group” awards but only a handful of us actually got the plaque.

2.      In February I bought my wife Lady Gaga tickets (for a concert in NOVEMBER!!!) because she is the most amazing girl in the world.

3.      In February I announced my dedication to Pokemon…I’ve been into the cards for a few months and was really learning the game but I really go into it- I try to play every day, watch videos and learn about decks and how to get better- it’s the single greatest stress reliever I have ever found. It’s helped me stay away from news and just become a happier person.

4.      Sadly…also in February, I feel off the weight loss track after losing 15 lbs. but I did manage to maintain that 15 lbs lost under April…(more on that later)

5.      In March I started writing way more and revamped SharkysWorld.com into something I update more regularly and really pour my heart into.

6.      In late March, after reconsolidating all of my credit cards into one payment with a much lower rate, I finally upgraded from a 1999 Cavalier that was literally falling apart to a 2013 Dodge Avenger in amazing shop, good miles and has been an outstanding car.

7.      April 17th I started keto- aka Sharketo. I was still down 15 lbs. from earlier and I hit it really hard and I’ve stuck with it (for the most part) and I’m currently down 52 lbs. for the year. There has been some rough spots but it’s a way of eating that is really easy to get back into and your screw ups don’t set you back as much as with a different types of eating. I’m still pretty motivated and inspired to keep going- just need to slow down on the screw ups.

8.      On April 17th our son was Citizen of the Month for 2nd year in a row and received one of the special awards that only a small group of kids get.

9.      We spent April learning new recipes, cooking more and losing weight like crazy.

10.   In May I got my first booster box of Guardians Rising (Pokemon cards) and pulled a Secret Rare Gold Aqua Patch out of my first pack. 

11.   In May, my trading card charity – Commons4Kids donated our 7 millionth trading card! We’ve donated over 7 million cards now to kids in 13 different states and literally worked with people all over the world, in tons of different countries.

12.   Our son graduated from 5th grade in May- he graduated “with honors” as never making anything less than an A during his entire elementary school career and with being one of only three kids not missing a single day his 5thgrade year. His elementary school years were loaded with awards and accomplishments.

13.   May 26th my wife and I celebrated our 11th year of marriage (14 years together though!)

14.   May 31st, we signed a contract to make an offer on our first house!

15.   During June, our house got appraised, passed inspection and got final approval from the underwriter and we are only waiting on the title to come back and to set up the closing date AND I hit the 50 lbs. lost mark.

For me, 2017 has been NOTHING short of “The Year of The Shark” and I am very motivated to make the 2nd half of the year even better!

As for the meme from the first paragraph – “almost half way through 2017 and I lost 52 lbs., learned a ton about Pokemon while relieving stress, saved tons of money with lower interest rates while building up a credit score and reputation that has people throwing credit at us…but….still ugly”

I mean, come on guys, it’s really hard to fix ugly.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness
~~~~~shArky~~~~~

May 10, 2017 - Thoughts, Weight Loss    1 Comment

Keto Asshats

First… Down another pound!!!

Facebook can be such a great place and it can be such a negative place- it is what YOU make it. I’ve deleted people, removed myself from groups, unliked pages and done all that in order to get my feed where I want it.

One of the worst places on Facebook are the groups….any group…regardless of the subject matter.

I joined several keto groups when I first started this 3 weeks ago and I think I’m down to 3 groups that I haven’t either left or been kicked out of and that is fine with me, I have no problem weeding out the bad folks.

Like most folks, I searched for “keto” and joined the group with the most people…makes sense, right? We’ll that group turned out to be ran by a couple of lunatics. They weren’t so much about helping people as they were about trying to get you to pay them for webinars and classes and all that crap. I watched as the admins tried to control every single word that was posted, even in comments…if you DARED say something against them or even mention something that didn’t agree with, you got booted…no questions. People in that group were so scared, they would literally tag the admins and ask permission to post things- I guess they were scared because that was their only form of support and they didn’t want to lose it.

We’ll…that’s not me. One of the main admins made a post and I put a comment in and the comment was deleted and I was kicked in less than 10 minutes; I wasn’t rude…didn’t use bad language….just pointed out that the admins were rude sometimes and it was more discouraging then helpful. This admin had been doing keto for YEARS…considered himself a teacher of the art of keto and was charging a huge amount of money for learning material…yet he was fat!!!

Now, don’t go getting triggered there honey bunch…I’m not body shaming him…I’m simply saying that a fat guy doing keto for years probably shouldn’t be teaching others.

So…why should you listen to me and my advice? I’m still morbidly obese!!!

Well, you shouldn’t! Honestly, I’m not telling you anything…I’m simply writing what I do, what I eat and my thoughts on MY journey- I am not, in any way, telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. This is a personal journey and you can only become a keto master by adapting things to fit your needs to not only be healthy but also enjoy life.

I made another post on a Facebook page and it quickly got over a thousand likes and hundreds of comments…so many comments that the admins had to disable commenting on the post! 99% of the comments were positive and people thanking me or saying what most of us were thinking.

You have something in the keto world that are called “keto snobs”…I like to call them “the keto elitist” but either way, they aren’t really helpful…yet I think they honestly try to be. You have these folks who believe you should have zero sugar, zero fake sugar, only eat 100% grass fed, “clean” and organic. They come off smug and they feel like their way is the only way and if you aren’t doing it their way, you aren’t doing keto.

People, like me, who are just starting and making HUGE changes in their life don’t need these keto elitist talking down to them- that has been the ONLY negative or discouraging thing I’ve seen with this lifestyle…those asshats.

When you first make such a huge change, it’s scary because it really seems like there isn’t anything you can eat and if you listen to them, there really isn’t. They seem to eat the same exact things daily with no variety and their life seems to suck and they usually really haven’t had that big of a success.

I want to be the guy that goes from 440 lbs. to 240 lbs. (yep, still overweight) and I want to share what I’ve learned and how I did it but I also want to enjoy life.

The problem is, these keto elitist don’t understand that most people have common sense…and what I mean by that is, they aren’t going to buy sugar free candy and then eat the whole box because that isn’t healthy either and when I say that eating sugar free stuff is OK, I’m not meaning to make it your entire menu…but it’s OK from time to time to stop a craving and help you succeed.

Here is the perfect example – last night, my wife and I got a box of Atkins Carmel Peanut Rolls…which are basically like a mix of Baby Ruth and Snickers and they are amazing!

Now, this would cause a keto elitist’s mind to literally explode!!! You can’t have that “chemical shitstorm” on keto!!! They would just literally lose their shit! Then they would send me hateful comments and messages about how I’m telling people to go out and eat this crap…but I’m not telling you to go eat anything. I’m telling you that WE got them…we tried them and they are amazing. The wife and I split one and it seems to take care of candy cravings. Sure, it may have some unhealthy chemicals but how unhealthy is it going to be for me to lose the cravings fight and hit up the candy section and just go nuts?

Sometimes the lesser of two evils is the best way to go and, damn it to hell you keto asshats, I understand that you don’t have to eat either but it’s delicious and sometimes you need to enjoy life. Sometimes you need to make slower changes by adapting what you are eating.

Here is another example- you have some of these folks go nuts if you tell them you went to Wendy’s and got a burger with no ketchup/no bun; you’ll get “oh that food is so unhealthy, you are killing yourself…blah…blah…blah” Truth is, my wife and I were eating out about 8 times a week and cramming as much food in as we could and now we eat out once a week and it fits into our macros- so, sure, it may not be the healthiest but it’s way better than we were doing and I’m sure, with time, we’ll get better.

All that rambling to say this…when people make positive changes, don’t hit them with negativity. If they are making better choices, don’t complain that they aren’t making the PERFECT choice. Making better choices is the starting place….then you research, learn and start making better and better choices until you reach a happy medium where you can lose weight, get healthier but still enjoy life and come up with something you can live with. I’m still trying to find that place.

Back in 2005, I dropped 117 lbs. doing something I couldn’t live with…..and I crashed and gained it all back plus an extra 28 lbs. and it’s been there for over a decade.

Don’t be that person…and don’t be that person that discourages folks from trying keto…don’t be a keto asshat.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness
~~~~~shArky~~~~~

Mar 29, 2017 - Thoughts    No Comments

Cut The Cord

So, I’m sure you have heard of people “cutting the cord” which basically means cutting off your cable and watching shows through other resources. We’ve wanted to do it for a long time because we literally HATE Time Warner Cable but it always seemed like it just really wouldn’t work. 

Yesterday…we decided to go for it.

I called TWC (now Spectrum) yesterday because I kept seeing the commercials for free modem and since we have been paying a “fee” for ours for years now…literally hundreds of dollars for a $50 piece of equipment…I thought maybe they would just drop that charge.

HA!

Not only would they not drop the charge, the guy actually seemed pissed that we weren’t paying MORE! I thought we were already Spectrum customers (but we aren’t…yet we are); he tells me that we got grandfathered in so we are still TWC customers so we are getting huge breaks. To transfer over to Spectrum, we would actually pay about $20 more to have what we have now. 

So- I asked why we wouldn’t get all the deals as a NEW Spectrum customer then…well, that is the thing…we aren’t new customers when it comes to getting any deals. 

TWC/Spectrum has this small town locked down and they know it- if you want cable or internet, you HAVE to use them- there isn’t really much of a choice and they love it. (See South Park episode Informative Murder Porn)

So…that was basically it. 
I started doing research and it came down to Playstation Vue or Sling TV and there was one factor that decided it for us- Comedy Central. Vue doesn’t have Comedy Central as one of their stations so we went with Sling. 

We are heading out tonight to get an antenna for our TVs so we can get local channels for news, TV shows etc. which should cover everything we have currently had. 

Sling TV has a great lineup of channels and the $25 pack included all the channels (that aren’t your local channels) that we watch.

One of the downsides is that Sling doesn’t have a cloud based DVR system yet…BUT it’s in beta testing so that is coming soon. 

We already have Hulu, Netflix and WWE Network and have had for years, so I’m not going to count that as a part of our “cable” cost because we never did…so here is the break down. 

We were paying $157.80 for TV, 30 mpbs internet plus HBO. The service was shitty, the stuff we DVRed usually broke up in the middle or just froze all together and we never got to see the final seconds of a show because the DVR stopped recording before the show even went off. Now, remember…that price should have been around $180 through Spectrum and he made it very clear that eventually we would have to switch over. 

So we had to put some money in now, to buy a couple ROKU boxes and some antennas but our bill will be $70 for internet (60 mpbs – through Spectrum due to their monopoly) plus $40 for Sling TV plus HBO. That internet speed is DOUBLE what we had before. 

Total savings of $70 PER MONTH! 

Here is the icing on the cake, which I automatically realized last night as I was watching Sling…this will highly cut down on what I call “mindless watching”. There are times we just turn the TV on for no reason and watch a rerun of Reba for the 150th time. Actually using the Sling App is going to force us to think about what we want to watch and we won’t watch stuff we aren’t even really interested in while our DVR fills up. 

I’m sure there are cheaper ways out there like those boxes you can find all over Ebay that allows you to watch ANYTHING in the world…even movies that are still at the theater! But remember, if things are too good to be true, they probably are….and a good chance that doing that is illegal. 

I’m just happy to be taking money away from Spectrum and putting it into my pocket while making us more mindful viewers at the same time. Also, we can watch the Sling App anywhere, on our phones or tablets PLUS the app is HD on our bedroom TV. We just had cable in our bedroom because another HD box would have been even MORE money!

Now, we’ve only had Sling TV for a day but the quality is amazing, the app is pretty fast and they have some cool little features like the “MY CHANNELS” so you just have the list of channels you will actually watch. 

So far, the experience has been amazing.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness
~~~~shArky~~~~

Mar 21, 2017 - Thoughts    No Comments

Read You Bastards

I’m a dying breed and that makes me a sad panda….well…um…shark.

I wrote a really long post several months back, about Pokemon, and I posted it a few places. Overall, it started some great discussion and was well received but I noticed a lot of folks saying stuff like –

“this was too long, I only read a little of it…”

“I just skimmed this”

“TL;DR” (too long, didn’t read)

Truth is, it wasn’t really that long….maybe 2 pages in Microsoft Word; however, when you post that in a forum, it looks like a lot more and I understand that but what happened to reading exactly? 

I’m just as guilty as most because I love YouTube these days…however, I see the problems daily. I watch Pokemon videos and people will post their deck lists- so you have to pause it to actually be able to look at what it. They will even say stuff like- “pause the video if you want to read/look at this better” and I just don’t get that. Even on Facebook, I scroll and more than 75% of the stuff is video…how about posting a picture (because that will last longer…or so I’ve had a few attractive girls tell me.)

I guess I’m more “old skool” because I’m an “old guy” but if you pull something really cool out of a pack, I want to be able to click on a picture of it and zoom in on it and take it all in. If you are posting a copy of your deck list, I want to be able to look at it (clearly) and understand your thinking process and how it works. 

The written word is dying and I think it’s because it takes time to write and read and people are just constantly on the go these days; they want their news in 140 characters and everything else in something they can just stare at- without doing much thinking. I think writers don’t really want to put that much effort into things anymore because they realize that it will only be seen for a few minutes as folks scroll past for the newest thing. 

Maybe I should get me one of them there fancy videoing cameras and become a YouTube star?

Nah…it’s like I always say – “I have a face for radio and a voice for blogging.” (do the kids even know what a blog is these days….god, I’m soooo old.)

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~

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