You get what you pay for

I was pleased this week that the crappy webpage I created for the Columbia Area Darts Association actually generated some results.  I heard from two people, one in Italy and one in Indiana, who are moving to Columbia soon and were happy to discover that they’ll be able to play darts when they arrive.  That was one of the main purposes that drove my purchasing a domain and web hosting service.  I remember how distressed I was when I moved back here and could find absolutely nothing about darts in the capital city.  At least I’ve remedied that sorry state of affairs.

In other news, I’m moving in the right direction weight-wise once again.  Once I had broken through the 50 pound barrier, I got a little bit too excited lazy and suffered weight gains in two successive weeks.  At this stage in my battle with fat I have to fight my body’s inclination to believe it has reached its ideal weight.  Which means I’ve had to kick it up a notch on the treadmill (six days a week) and show more discipline in resisting special treats like Jee Yeun’s smoothies.  Now, I’ve upped my darts to four days a week (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), and that does involve a fair amount of walking and standing around.  But I also indulge myself with low carb beer (2.5 grams per bottle). I usually have 4 or 5 of them which pretty much maxes out my target for daily carbohydrate intake.  Maybe that’s a wash, because I’d hate to cut back on “aiming fluid”.

Anyway, this week finds me at 226.5 pounds, down three from last week and 52 pounds overall.  I’m just as excited that I’ve taken another inch off my girth, down to 42″, a 9 1/2 inch reduction since February.

Onward and downward!

 

Sucked in

Portrait of the blogger at work.

Portrait of the blogger at work.

It occurs to me that I ought to be posting something here at LTG.  The problem is every time I sit down to share the juicy details of my most interesting life here in the USA I have to face the sad fact that there aren’t any.  I’ve been working on a political post for a few days, but frankly I’m in so much despair about the state of our nation that I just can’t bring myself to finish it.  It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I care too much.  Ah well.

My biggest fear when I retired and moved back to the states was that I would get sucked into the mundane and vanilla lifestyle that is so uniquely American.  I had hoped to counter that inevitability by spending significant parts of the year back in Korea.  Unfortunately, Uncle Sam has illogically tied my departure to coincide with with the issuance of my wife’s green card.  Last I heard from the government they advised it would likely be February before a decision was made.  And of course given the dysfunction of the bureaucracy that’s probably optimistic.

Which is not to say that I haven’t been making the best of things during my sojourn in the United States.  I’ve been working hard at building a vibrant darting community here in my hometown of Columbia.  I’ve got things to the point where I can now play four times a week (versus the previous one) without leaving the Midlands.  That was pretty much my darting schedule in Korea, so I reckon I’m generally satisfied.  And I guess I’ve made some new friends and acquaintances along the way, so I’m happy about that.

But I’m missing my Korea life quite a lot and can’t help but feeling sometimes like the world is passing me by while I’m stuck here in South Carolina.  To be sure, there are worse places to be stuck. It’s just not in my nature to be happy about being stuck anywhere I suppose.

There you have it.  A post about nothing noteworthy.  Which certainly is in keeping with the fine tradition I’ve established here at LTG.

 

 

 

Screw jihad!

Where have all the comfort girls gone?                                                                            Long time passing                                                                                                            Where have the comfort girls gone?                                                                                 Long time ago                                                                                                                 Where have all the comfort girls gone?                                                                           Gone to Syria everyone                                                                                                   When will they ever learn?                                                                                                      When will they ever learn?

with apologies to Pete Seeger

I suppose it’s an inapt comparison to the Korean comfort women of WWII since there is no indication these Tunisian lasses are being forced to fuck the Syrian terrorists rebels freedom fighters.  The folks back home are none to pleased that their women folk are returning preggers.  But as they say, terrorist babies don’t grow on trees.

What I find interesting is that apparently in Islam everything goes–murder, torture, sexual intercourse–provided you announce that you are doing it for the purpose of jihad.  Hey, it worked for the Prophet!

More or less

Second place finish in the blind draw tourney last night.

Second place finish in the blind draw tourney last night.

I threw some brilliant darts yesterday.  But more often they were mediocre.  Finished with 6 wins and 9 losses in the cricket qualifier, which means I won’t be getting a paid trip to Las Vegas.

Did manage to make it to the Championship round in the blind draw tourney last night.  A hard fought battle, but alas, we had to settle for second place money.  Which is of course much better than getting poked in the eye with a dart.

More on tap today and tomorrow.  Back to work!

 

A shootout in Charleston

Bright and early in the morning I’ll be making way to Charleston, SC to participate in the Bob Dailey Open darts tournament.  Starting things off with the Cricket Regional then I’ll play all the usual events during the course of the weekend.

I feel like my game has improved these past couple of months.  Has it improved enough to actually be competitive?  Time will tell.  But I’m gonna shoot ’em up as best as I am able.

 

Remembering when everything changed

nineeleven

Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.

They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.

They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.

 

The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.

–Lee Harris

Nothing ventured, nothing lost

All I lost last week was some dart games.  My own damn fault really.  Too much time on the couch, not enough on the treadmill.  Got a little too cocky after breaking the 50 pound barrier I suppose.  That and my inability to resist Jee Yeun’s tasty smoothies.

One pound gain, puts me back at 228.5.  This week I am rededicating myself to being dedicated.

Onward and downward!

Puking with the stars

The Big Hominid recounts a recent brush with fame, which set me to thinking about the only celebrity encounter I experienced, at least that I can recall.

It was sometime in 1979 or so, back when I was residing in the lovely city of Prescott, Arizona.  My wife from that era was working at a local dining establishment and I came in and sat at the bar while I waited for her shift to end.  I hadn’t really noticed the gentleman sitting on the bar stool next to me until some female patrons approached and asked him for an autograph.  After he obliged I guess he noticed me looking at him trying to figure out who in the fuck he was.  He smiled, offered his hand, and introduced himself as “Jan”.  To be honest, the name didn’t ring a bell but the face was somewhat familiar.

Anyway, we began to chat.  He was in town attending some sessions at a nearby gun school.  I don’t recall if he said this was preparation for a movie role or if he just liked guns. As we talked periodically someone would recognize him and come up to meet him.  He was always gracious, but I could tell he found it somewhat irksome.  About this time my wife appeared and judging by her giddiness I guess she recognized him too.  As we were preparing to leave I asked if he’d like to join us.  I was mostly just being polite so I was a little taken aback when he said “I sure would!”  I don’t recall now where we intended to actually go, but it was likely one of the dives we liked on Whiskey Row.

As it turns out we didn’t make it far.  Once we got into my vehicle (an older but rugged Toyota LandCruiser), Jan asked if we’d like to smoke a joint before we left.  I was a big pot smoker back in those days so naturally I answered in the affirmative.  Damn, it was some good shit.  In fact, it may have been laced with something, because I got real wasted real quick.  And then he pulled out a tin of cocaine!  I did a snort or two of that and the next thing I remember I was leaning out the car door puking my guts out.

I’m pretty sure Jan found my lightweight antics equally disturbing and disgusting.  Suffice to say he changed his mind about joining us, quickly said his goodbyes and left.

And so ended my chance encounter with the B-list celebrity Jan Michael Vincent.

jmv

Thanks for reminding me of that night Kevin Kim!

Saving the world one city at a time

The collapse of Detroit has of course been much in the news of late.  Detropia does a nice job of documenting the decline of this once great city.  A quick Google search reveals hundreds of articles and opinion pieces from all  points on the political spectrum pontificating about the root causes of Detroit’s death spiral and its implications (or lack thereof) for the rest of America.  Paul Krugman (bless his Nobel Laureate heart) weighed in blaming the fall of Detroit on urban sprawl (shhh, nobody tell Los Angeles!).  All of which of course ignores the elephant that truly devoured Detroit: political corruption, union cronyism, and irresponsible short-sightedness of greedy corporate executives.  Or take your pick. See, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

But really, as Hillary Clinton might say, what does it matter now?  Our focus should turn to how we fix the mess that was once one of America’s richest cities.  Now, the mayor of Boston had a pretty good plan–blow it up and start all over again.  Assuming that course of action may be a bit extreme for my gentle readers, let’s look for something else.  A Facebook friend posted this story on why Toronto is succeeding while the rest of the rust belt is, well, rusting.  The solution proposed is to bring in a bunch of immigrants and repopulate the city.  Which is a fine plan I suppose except for the parts about there being no jobs and the city can’t be expected to provide much in the way of social services when it can’t even keep the streetlights burning.  Lord knows though, there is plenty of available housing.  Unfortunately, Detroit can’t even give houses away these days because no one can afford the outrageous property taxes.  So, adding more jobless people (even if they are not homeless) won’t fix Detroit’s problems.

We need a radical solution here and after stewing on the problems for awhile I came up with a plan.  Let me present to you The Free City of Detroit.  My idea is sort of built around the concept of Free Trade Zones, but with much, much more to entice people, and just as importantly, businesses and manufacturing back into this forlorn and nearly abandoned city.

Here’s how it works.  Residents of Detroit will still have to pay federal and state income taxes (I just don’t see a Constitutionally viable way around that).  However, under the Charter of the Free City of Detroit all those taxes will be refunded to the city.  With that money the city will be able to provide necessary services and infrastructure making the city a much more pleasant environment in which to live.  But more importantly, the city would not be permitted to impose any additional taxes on people or businesses.  No sales tax, no property tax, no business licensing fees, no corporate taxes.  It’s a Free City after all.  Any federal or state tax dollars not spent by the city would be returned to the people–not unlike what Alaska does with it’s oil revenues.  Think about it–you could actually be paid to live in Detroit!  It would also be a good way to keep the politicians in check (more on that later)–the people would not stand idly by when money is wastefully spent that would otherwise be in their wallets.  The beauty is that the more people who move back to Detroit (along with  the businesses that support and employ them) the richer the city becomes.

But wait there’s more!  In a Free City the only laws that would be enforced are those reasonable and necessary to protect property and the people from violence.  Gambling, prostitution, drugs–all legal in the Free City of Detroit!  No longer will residents be victims of victimless crimes.  Just making drugs legally available would go a long way to reducing violent crime.  Here’s some science to back up that claim.  Who wouldn’t want to live in a libertarian paradise like the Free City of Detroit?

Alright, let me answer the questions the preceding paragraph may have sent careening through your brain.  Most federal laws and regulations would still apply, unless specifically exempted by Congress.  I’m not looking to have workers unprotected, so OSHA standards would remain in place.  And any racists out there should not rejoice, the equal protection clause of the Constitution (and all other Amendments) would guard the rights of all citizens.  Feel a little better now?

But what about jobs?   Detroit didn’t lose it’s historic manufacturing base because of some inescapable natural phenomenon.  Rather they were driven away by an unholy trinity of high taxes, unsupportable wages and benefits, and corporate greed.  Well, I’ve already addressed the tax issue.  Michigan has adopted right-to-work laws which should keep jobs protected from unscrupulous union demands.  And hell, corporate greed is what will bring the jobs back!  Automobile manufacturers are building cars for a profit in Tennessee and Alabama.  If you make it cheaper to build them in the Free City of Detroit, they’ll come rushing back to do so.

Finally, the toughest nut to crack might be political corruption.  Lord knows that played a significant role in the demise of old Detroit.  So, I propose a five member board of governors to rule the city.  And given that I have a certain fondness for democratic principles, the Chair of that board would be elected.  The other four would be appointed to represent the various constituencies with an interest in the health and welfare of the city: one from the State, one from the Feds, one for corporate interests, and one for small business owners.  They would be required to manage the city in strict accordance with the terms of the Charter, and no funds could be dispersed for any purpose other than for the overall interest of the city at large as determined by a majority of the Board of Governors.  As a safeguard, the Board would also be limited to 3 year terms with no reappointment or reelection.  Not perfect, but what is in this world?

So there you have it.  A viable plan to save the city of Detroit by destroying it (without bombs of course!).  And from the ashes of failure a new and free Detroit will arise, built on the principles of freedom, justice, and good old fashioned American ingenuity.  Have you heard any better options?

Yes we can!  Do we have the courage and foresight to try another way?

Yes we can! Do we have the courage and foresight to try another way?

And the walls come tumbling down

 

Try strapping this on and carrying it around for oh say, years.

Try strapping this on and carrying it around for oh, say years.

Blasted into the 220s this week and also broke through the 50 pound barrier.  Week 29 of the LCHF lifestyle saw me drop 5 pounds to 227.5.  If you are keeping score at home that makes 51 pounds lost overall.  Also managed to lose an inch of that stubborn girth to bring my middle to 43″, an 8 1/2 inch reduction overall.

My 3XL shirts fit me like tents now.  On the other hand, some 2XLs that have been hanging unworn in the closet for a couple of years actually look good on me again.  I’m now wearing 38″ waist jeans (with a belt!).  And of course it feels great to not struggle so much with daily tasks like putting on my socks or picking up dropped darts.  Not to mention that laying down that 50 pound bag of rice just makes me feel better in general (no more pregnant woman style backaches!).

So, 12 pounds left to go to reach my target weight.  Then I can go into “maintenance mode”.  Meaning I might occasionally be able to enjoy some of the foods I’ve been missing the most.  Like a big fat baked potato to go with my steak.  And some ice cream for dessert!

Onward and downward!

"Are you sure the baby is mine"?   No, it's just a big ol' bag of rice.

“Are you sure the baby is mine”?
No, it’s just a big ol’ bag of rice.

UPDATE:  More good news.  Just did my BMI calculation and I’ve gone from being obese to just good ol’ fashioned overweight.

There’s a new kid on the block

If you check my blogroll you’ll find a new addition–the Columbia Area Darts Association webpage.

Admittedly it’s not much to look at.  But cut me a little slack, I’ve never attempted to build a website before.  Sure, I used a template but it was still a struggle to get it as right as I did.  A full day’s work to boot!

Anyway, we now how a repository for Columbia-centric darts information.  More importantly, folks who might be looking for darts here in the Midlands of South Carolina now have a way to find us.

We’re getting there.  One step at a time.