A shout out

As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been despairing about the fate of my blogging history.  In an act of desperation I contacted the former owner of my current blog host, Lisa Sabin-Wilson and asked if she could assist.  This morning I received an email from someone at Blogs-About, I told him what I needed (the Cpanel login and password) and within the hour I had the info I’ve been seeking for weeks.

Anyway, I really appreciate that Ms. Sabin-Wilson took some time to help me out with this.  What a relief.

Of course, I won’t rest easy until everything has transferred over to my new host (HostGator, who have also been great) and the WordPress update has been completed.

I can’t promise bigger and better blogging than ever before, but at least I’ll be able to post photos again.  So there’s that.

I’ve got a bad feeling

The effort to update my blog has failed.  It seems I need a Cpanel access login to move data from the servers of my current blog host, Blogs-About.  Blogs-About has been totally unresponsive to my repeated requests for assistance.  I gave their website some close scrutiny today and discovered nothing has been updated there since 2010.

I did an internet search of Blogs-About’s founder and noted that she is with a new company.  I emailed her and asked what the heck was going on with Blogs-About.  Hopefully she’ll respond.

In the meantime, I am faced with the prospect of losing everything I have written these past 9 years.  Which means nothing to anyone but me I suppose.  It makes me sick to my stomach though.

We’ll see what happens.


After a somewhat disappointing weekend of darting, I broke out a book I bought when I first started playing to see what I might have forgotten. There are fundamentally three aspects to successful darts–mechanics, math, and mental. To play well all of them need to be in balance.

I stood at the oche tonight and reviewed my mechanics–my grip is properly balanced on the dart, my stance is stable and balanced, my cock and release is fluid. Yeah, my follow through is bizarre looking, but I don’t think that really has a significant impact on my accuracy. And yes, I need to work on more consistency in my release point, but who doesn’t?

I’m working on the math and it’s coming along. But the math didn’t cost me any games this time around. (well, maybe I could have thrown for additional points in a cricket game, but that wasn’t math, that was a choice. When I’m holding the winning dart in hand I’ve got to go for it. That’s just me.)

So, that leaves mental. And yes, I believe I made the classic mistake of letting a few bad darts get in my head. When I start pressing and getting down on myself, I lose both focus and confidence. The book talks about “quiet cool” and that resonates for me. When I’m on my game (in the zone I call it) I step up to oche knowing I’m going to hit. I don’t really even think about it. I lost a huge leg missing three shots at a 32 out. Yeah, that happens. But looking back on it, I was thinking “don’t miss this, don’t miss this, don’t miss this”, instead of having a quiet cool mindset of “let’s win this right now.” It sounds trite I guess, but the mind is a funny thing and the power of positive thinking is, well, powerful.

Here’s hoping for better results in Charlotte!


Back from a weekend of darting in Winston-Salem, NC.  I played pretty well overall, just not well enough to, you know, actually win.  The worst part was being on the cusp of victory only to throw it away (no pun intended) with a couple of poorly thrown darts.  Ah well, still not ready for prime time I guess.

On the drive home got caught in a massive traffic jam caused by a six car chain reaction pile up on I-85.  It happened a mile or two up the road from me, but two ambulances, two fire trucks, and a state trooper vehicle kept both lanes bottlenecked for quite awhile.  The accident occurred in the left lane and it doesn’t take an accident investigator (although technically I was trained as an accident investigator back in my USPS days) to figure out what happened–driving 70 plus miles per hour right on the ass of the car in front of you.  Someone taps the breaks and all hell breaks loose.  Idiots.

My final frustration was weighing in and finding I achieved no weight loss this week.  My own fault really.  Had the grand kids most of the week and that kept me off the treadmill (yeah, it was ALL their fault!).  There was a Wendy’s next door to our hotel in Winston-Salem and  I found it impossible to resist those soft ice cream waffle cones.  I had two.  I guess I should be glad I didn’t gain weight.  So, holding steady at 246 (down 32.5 pounds overall).  Girth also was unchanged at 46.5 inches, down 5″ since February.

Onward and downward.

Battlin’ Buddhist Bastards of Burma

“You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog.”

The New York Times is shocked, shocked I tell ya, that every single Buddhist in the world is not temperamentally exactly like the Dalai Lama.  They must have missed stories like this.

I obviously do not approve of these tactics, no matter who the perpetrator. Still, it is quite fascinating to see radicalized Buddhists utilize the same methods that radicalized Muslims have been employing against Christians and Jews for centuries.  Dare I say it?  This Crusade is quite the Revelation.  Ahem.

Three salvos

Today I escalated my battle with Time Warner Cable (TWC) by crafting three sternly worded letters.  The first missive was a long tirade detailing how I’d been wronged and my three unsuccessful attempts to resolve what should have been a simple correction by telephone.  I included the documentation that I had previously paid through June 24 so the June 7 billing (3 days after cancellation) was completely bogus.

My second letter was to the CEO of TWC (with a copy of the correspondence mentioned above) noting that I had cancelled my service because TWC was no longer competitively priced.  I noted that high prices and poor customer service was a deadly combination, especially given the competitive market they serve.

The third epistle was sent to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.  In this one I essentially allege that TWC is engaging in fraudulent business practices.  I came to this conclusion based on the fact that TWC knows or should know that may account was paid in full at the time of my cancellation (indeed, I was owed a refund).  That they billed me for July anyway I could attribute to a mistake or miscommunication except for the fact that they steadfastly refuse to make it right.  Engaging in threats (reporting an uncollected debt to the credit bureau) in an attempt to coerce me into paying a money I don’t owe and they know I don’t owe is just plain wrong.

Do I think this flurry of letter writing will make a difference?  Well yeah, I think they will eventually pay me what they owe if for no other reason than to shut me up.  I doubt the CEO will give a flip, but I think at a minimum the consumer has an obligation to let the big shots know their people are screwing up.  As for Consumer Affairs, I expect they will handle this matter in typical government fashion–nothing will be done.

To be sure, the amount of time I have invested in this matter is worth far more to me than the $42.82 TWC is trying to steal from me.  But as a matter of principle I refuse to be cowed.

In other news, I’m advised my blog should be updated, upgraded, and uploaded after a week of upheaval.  So far, I can still access the site and post.  I’m assured it is all going to be seamless.  My domain name will remain the same and all my history will be moved to the new blog host with nothing lost in transition.  Here’s hoping.

Oh, and I really want to give a shout out to Host Gator.  Once I’d signed up with them I was assigned to my own personal account rep.  She sent me a very informative welcome email and then actually called me to introduce herself and offer any assistance I might require.  Take note TWC, that’s the way to treat customers!

Farewell Blogs About

You’ve been with me from the beginning of Long Time Gone.  But when I reached out to you in my hour of need, you turned your back and ignored my repeated pleas for assistance.  I suppose it’s the age old story of one outgrowing the other in a relationship.  I may be just another small fry to you, but damn I was loyal.

So, it is with some sadness and regret I say goodbye to you forever.  There’s a new blog host in my life now, Host Gator, who’s catchy little motto is “we eat up the competition.”  Blogs About, consider yourself devoured.

Not sure how long the transition will take, but have no fear, should LTG disappear for a couple of days, I will be back bigger and better than ever before.  Kinda like a bad dream.

Playing with my ASS and reaching a milestone

I had a great day yesterday throwing darts in the ASS.  Aiken Singles Series Dart League finals that is.  The top six finishers in league play met at the VFW in Aiken, SC to determine a champion and your humble blog host was among them.  The format was a round robin (each of the six played each other 3 games of 501) and then the top 4 finishers would advance to the championship round.  I took 9 of 15 legs in the semis which was good enough to move on.

In the championship round each player faced off in full 9 game matches–a total of 27 games each–and the top two finishers would earn some dough.  I went 4-5 against my first opponent, 3-6 against my second, but finished 7-2 against the third.  And through the wonder of mathematics (the guy who beat me 6-3 lost to the guy I beat by a wider margin) that was good enough for the second place prize, a cool $100.00.

If you are keeping score that was 42 games of darts.  We started at 1:30 and finished at 8:30.  At the end it was more about endurance than skill.  And I know folks joke about the athletic qualities of darters; but standing, walking, throwing, and intensely competing over such an extended period of time is both physically and mentally demanding and quite exhausting.  Plus, I’m old and fat.

But not as fat as I once was!  18 weeks into the LCHF diet plan I’ve surpassed the halfway point in reaching my goal of losing 60 pounds.  The previous couple of weeks I seemed to have flatlined, so I began walking the treadmill to get the weight loss jump started again.  The payoff was a drop this week from 251 pounds to 246!  That makes a net loss 32.5 since February 19.  Color me pleased about that.  I also managed to whittle away some of my stubborn girth, cutting my middle down to 46.5″, 5″ smaller than I was when I started the diet.  My jeans are definitely riding higher these days!

Onward and downward.

Time Warner Cable and other things that suck

I recently cancelled my internet service with Time Warner.  What started out as a $30 per month expense had escalated to $48 over the course of two years.  My last bill indicated that my “promotional” rate was expiring so I tried to call and find out what the hell that was going to cost me.  Several attempts resulted in a busy signal.  Which was pretty aggravating to say the least.  I mean, who doesn’t have an automated system to put you in the queue for an actual customer service rep?

Now, the cost of my satellite television with DirecTV had also risen to the point that I was paying $135 a month for a couple of hours of viewing each week (I spend as much or more time on Netflix).  AT&T had been after me to sign up for their UVerse internet and television combination package for quite some time.  Given my frustration with Time Warner’s unresponsiveness, I gave them a call.  When I hung up I had secured an internet and television package at a comparatively bargain price of only $110 a month.  Coincidentally, the amount I’m saving almost pays for the gouging I took from AT&T when I upgraded to smart phones.

Once I had the UVerse installed it was time to formally end my relationship with DirecTV and Time Warner.  Bless their hearts, neither one wanted to see me go.  I spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with each while they tried to talk me out of making the switch.  And both offered to adjust my bill back down to the initial introductory rate (for six months anyway).  And they both called back again the next day to once again plead their case for my staying on board.  But it was too late, I had given my commitment to AT&T and we are destined to stay together for at least the next 12 months.

Anyway, the Time Warner cancellation was effective on June 3.  I was told I would be receiving a $32 refund for the remainder of the billing cycle.  Now,  I have most of my bills set up for automatic deduction from my bank account which works out great while I’m out of the country for extended periods.  I closed the bank account where the Time Warner deduction was drawn (and moved to a far less sucky banking institution).  So, imagine my surprise when I received a notice in the mail from Time Warner indicating that on June 7 (four days after termination of the service) their attempt to bill my former bank $48 had been rejected.  And here’s the perversely hilarious part–they added a $30 fee for the draft being denied.  But wait, it gets even better.  The bill looked something like this:

Monthly charge for internet $48  Rejection fee $30.  Total $78.  Minus the $32credit I had coming.  Total due: $46.

I was livid and got right on the phone.  And waited and waited waited for the customer service rep to become available.  When she was I explained the fuck up.  She told me she would have to transfer me to billing.  So I waited some more.  When billing got on the line I explained it all again.  She seemed to understand and put me on hold while she discussed it with her supervisor.  When she came back she advised I would have to be transferred to collections.  And yep, I waited some more.

The collections guy was quite the prick.  We argued on the phone for the better part of an hour.  His position was that it was my fault for closing my bank account without notifying them.  I responded with why were you billing me for a month of service several days after the account was closed?  See, I’m pretty certain that when I signed up I paid a month in advance.  So, when I made the payment on May 24 that carried me through to June 24.  Which is why I was told I had a $32 credit coming.  Mr. Collections Prick didn’t see it that way, but was unable to explain why I was billed for a full month on June 7.  I held my tongue pretty much (the worst I said was “this is total bullshit” and that’s pretty amazing restraint on my part).  It became apparent he was not going to be dissuaded from his position that I went from being owed money to owing money.  So, I offered a compromise (this penny ante crap wasn’t worth the aggravation).  I told him I would pay the $16 I didn’t owe, but I was not going to pay the $30 rejection fee.

Collections Prick responded “Time Warner will not waive the fee.”  I told him good luck trying to collect it, because I won’t pay it under any circumstance.  He said “That’s fine, then it will go on your credit report as an uncollected debt.”  And that’s the point where the call mercifully ended.

Time Warner Cable sucks.  Tomorrow I’ll be sending them a letter telling them they suck along with a check for $16.  I’ll also let them know that my blog and Facebook page has duly noted their general suckiness as a warning to folks so they won’t have to find out the hard way like I did. And I’ll cc the South Carolina Consumer Affairs folks who regulate utilities like Time Warner Cable Sucks, for all the good I expect that do.  And I’ll keep that letter on file to send to the credit reporting agencies should Time Warner Cable Sucks follow through on their threat.

Whew.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Hey speaking of things that suck, Value City Furniture pretty much sucks too.  To be fair, I purchased my master bedroom suite (why is suite pronounced “suit” and why do they call it that anyway?) and my bar from them and I’ve been satisfied with those buys.  So I needed a couple of side chairs for my dining room table and I went back to their showroom for a looksee.  I wasn’t looking for anything fancy and I didn’t want to spend more than necessary and I found some on display that I liked.  They were part of a five piece set (with table) on sale for $499.  I asked how much for just two chairs and was told $125 each. I’m no math wizard but that seemed unnaturally high.  Well, I guess I couldn’t expect the sale price if I wasn’t buying the set.

Anyway, I said fine, I’ll take these two.  No, I was advised, those are only for display.  We’ll have two sent over from the warehouse and you can pick them up in two days.  Ok, fine.  The deal was done and I returned on the appointed date to find a smallish box waiting for me.  “There are two chairs in that box?” I asked incredulously.  “Yes” I was told.  Which was correct as far as it goes, but the truthful answer would have been “two unassembled chairs.”  Now, if I buy cheap ass furniture from Target or Wal-Mart I expect I will have to put it together (this is especially easy to know because the display states prominently “assembly required”.  I’ve never bought crap from an actual furniture store that I had to build myself.  Which I did this afternoon.  $125 per chair and two hours of my life I’ll never get back.  That sucks.

And finally, this blog sucks.  Longtime reader(s) are doubtlessly well aware of that fact.  But I’m not talking about the writing this time.  The blog itself isn’t functioning properly.  For instance, I can’t load photos these days.  And other strange things have been occurring as well.  It just seems to be a general degradation in performance overall.  Now way back in December 2004 soon after LTG was born, I switched from Blogspot to WordPress.  And apparently I’ve never upgraded to the various iterations WordPress has gone through in the intervening years.  I’m too lazy  unqualified to do an upgrade by myself, so I opened a help ticket with my blog host BlogsAbout.com.  I was one of their earliest customers and I got lots of TLC in the beginning from the actual founder of the company.  They’ve apparently done amazingly well over the years.  And now a little guy like can’t even get a response to my pleas for help over a week later.  So, through the wonder of a Google search I’ve found another guy who says he can do the job.  All I know is that he responded within 30 minutes of my request, he did a quick looksee, and said he can fix me up for $130.  Apparently, my version of WordPress is so outdated he’ll have to go through several longish steps to get me up to speed.  Here’s hoping I’ve exhausted my quota of sucky encounters.

It occurs to me that despite not speaking the language and being generally ignorant culturally, my life in Korea is so much easier than here.  Things in Korea just don’t seem to suck nearly as much.


Seen on facebook:
In the 1930s maverick astronomer Fritz Zwicky was passed up on being awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the neutron star, even though he was the one to originally predict that there must be such a thing, apparently the astronomy community was very seclusive and elitist at the time and preferred that one of their own be recognized for this achievement rather than the one who actually discovered it.

Zwicky then published a catalog of galaxies and in the opening he described the elite of the astronomy community as “spherical bastards” because: “they are bastards any way you looked at them.”

I’d call this an *ahem* universally excellent insult…


So, this whole NSA snooping thing has me somewhat flummoxed.  The government says the program is necessary to protect us from those that would do us harm.  Is freedom and liberty too high a price to keep us secure and safe?  So, I asked my friend Patrick whether we could trust the politicians to secretly use the information they are gathering in accordance with our Constitutional protections.  He said:

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

I said that’s a good point Patrick, but lives may be at stake here.  Shouldn’t we just go along to get along?  He was pretty adamant in his response:

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

Hard to argue with that.

Getting nowhere fast

Although technically speaking it’s more accurate to say I’m not getting anywhere at a brisk pace.  3.5 miles per hour to be exact.  Yes, I’m back on the treadmill again.  I fear I’ve hit a plateau on weight loss through diet alone so I’m going to try and kick the ol’ metabolism up a notch or two and see what happens.

Onward and downward.

On the road to hell…


…or maybe Itaewon.  Although I suppose it could be argued that one leads to the other.

Speaking of being paved with good intentions, this week’s weigh-in finds me at 251 pounds.  Down one from last week, which is exactly 1/3 of the previous week’s weight gain.  I was a little sinful, having made a (sugar free) banana pudding.  And then proceeded to eat the whole damn thing in one hellacious sitting.  I reasoned that eating it all at once would be no different than enjoying the same amount spread over several days.  That must have been satan talking, because I know better.  So, now I have repented and have refocused on my efforts for a heavenly weight loss.


I’ve been watching the television series Arrested Development on Netflix and enjoying the hell out of it.  It’s #16 on the list of best written television series.  In the episode that ended season one the family is doing the low carb diet thing which made the jokes especially funny to me.  Anyway, highly recommend this show.

And now I must get on the road to Aiken for a long ass day of darts exercise.  Onward and downward!

Tongue tied

At the risk of turning this otherwise mundane and generally pointless blog you’ve come to know and expect into a worthless compilation of diet news, I can’t resist linking to this story about the latest Beverly Hills weight loss craze–the tongue patch.  The way it apparently works is they sew a plastic patch onto your tongue which makes eating solid food extremely painful.  The doctor selling this $2000 surgery reports his patients lose up to 30 pounds a month.  That’s the power of a liquid diet so he says.

Of course, my problem is I’m drinking too much liquid–mostly of the beer variety.  I’m quite certain those Korean beers I consumed in great quantity are what caused my massive weight gain to begin with (light and/or low carb beers are not commonly found and the American imports cost twice as much as the local brews).  So, the tongue patch is not really an option for me, especially given my well-developed aversion to pain.

Today I took Jee Yeun to the GNC store so she could restock her supply of fish oil.  She also bought something called Biotin, which is apparently some kind of B-vitamin supplement.  According to Jee Yeun that 100 year old woman we met (I wrote about her here) swears by the stuff.  I guess we’ll see, but I reckon it can’t hurt either.

Anyway, I browsed the store while Jee Yeun found her stuff and came across these:


By golly, “a clinically studied white kidney bean extract” that “decreases the caloric impact of carbs!”  Does it actually work?  According to Wikipedia in three double blind studies folks who used Phaseolamin lost significantly more weight than the placebo group.  Will it work for me?  I don’t see how it could hurt.  Mind you, I’m sticking with the low carbohydrate regimen but hopefully this will help counter my “liquid diet” problem.  And if it assuages the pangs of guilt when I have the occasionally slip (did you know Wendy’s is selling soft-serve ice cream in a waffle cone?) then it is worth it at twice the price.  Truthfully, the bottle only cost me 23 bucks for 120 humongous tablets, which is just about the price for two buckets of beer.  And who can put a price tag on peace of mind?

Too fat for a doctorate

Via Althouse comes this story about an unfortunate tweet saying fat folks should not bother applying for the PhD program since they obviously lack the self discipline necessary to complete a dissertation.  Professor Geoffrey Miller of NYU tweeted: “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth.”

As is wont to happen, some folks (whether fat or not) took offense to the remark.  Miller doubled down saying finishing a dissertation is “about willpower/conscientiousness, not just smarts.”   Later when the heat got too hot, he deleted the offending tweets, but the damage was done.

Now poor Dr. Miller is being accused of various and sundry crimes against nature, including being a proponent of eugenics. Even worse, he is now the target of the worst kind of retaliation–mockery!  There’s even an aptly named blog “Fuck Yeah! Fat PhDs featuring photographs of “fatalicious” PhD candidates from institutions across our great nation.

I’m personally too fat and lazy to weigh-in (ahem) on the subject, other than to say I’m glad Dr. Miller is down with the low carb regimen. Althouse gives the issue her lawyerly analysis here and here.

I will just say that my personal journey to the scales this week revealed that I’ve gained 3 pounds, putting me back up to 252.  I wasn’t totally surprised, because I had a week of some pretty hellacious beer drinking.  Beer is liquid bread after all.  And even though I confine myself to the almost tasteless low carb variety (2.6 grams of carbohydrates per 12 oz bottle), the carbs do add up.  Especially when you drink 12 beers or so in one sitting.  Hey, I had company.  A soldier friend who is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan.  So we had much to discuss!

So, shame on me.  At least I can be thankful that I’m not pursuing a doctorate degree.  Unless they offer one in the age old art of beer guzzling.

Onward and (hopefully) downward.