Thursday, August 31, 2006

I couldn't have said it better myself

DARE Generation has a post discussing the many failures of ONDCP:

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is having a bad month. First, a senate subcommittee recommended cutting their paychecks, citing "lethargy" and "unresponsiveness" resulting in an "unnecessary waste of time and energy." Then, on Friday, the Government Accountabilty Office released a report on the ONDCP's anti-drug propaganda campaign, which finds “no evidence of a positive outcome” and “significant unfavorable effects,” including that “greater exposure to the campaign was associated with weaker anti-drug norms and increases in the perceptions that others use marijuana.” (And this is not to mention the "biting" anti-drug ad parody featuring footage from "Snakes on a Plane," which hit YouTube last week.)

And today, USA Today poured salt on the wound.

As someone who has been inside their offices and worked on their computers for 10 minutes in my career, I wish they would be blinded by a dust storm of Oxycotin.

Our government should spend that money on something they really need, like a clue.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Market Demand for ECON 104



There are 290 fucking people in my Economic class. What? They couldn't squeeze 10 people in the aisles?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Let the Semester Begin


Above: Sorority Hos march on Patriot Circle

I love the very first night of class. Club recruiting and book scalping the 5 mins before class starts.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One Man's Snack Food is Another Man's Animal Spirit Guide


If one's health is based on what they eat (nutrition) and what they do (exercise), then my overall health since moving to Virginia in 1999 can be broken down into four ages:
  • The Sedentary New Yorker :: Nutrition (-)(-) Exercise (-)(-)
  • The Lazy Dieter :: Nutrition (+)(-) Exercise (-)(+)
  • Son of Sells-Floto :: Nutrition (-)(+) Exercise (+)(-)
  • Man on a Mission:: Nutrition (+)(+) Exercise (+)(+)

The first age (1999-2002) is remembered fondly with all-night hackathons (probably to get the table width for my website perfect), frequent trips to Krispy Kreme, 4 pints of Ben & Jerry's a week, and a signature 24 oz bottle of Mountain Dew in arms reach at all times. History shows this is when I reached my highest weight ever in January of 2002 (I was probably smoking a Marlboro Light while on the scale). [277 lbs]


The second age (2002-2003) began with what Cory and Trevin later named "Weirdo Diet". Weirdo Diet was my adaptation of a low-carb diet using everyday processed foods (like Wendy's Salad) that still had hidden carbs. Mountain Dew was yanked from my sweaty, fat fingers and replaced with water. Sedentary life was minimized with long walks (2-3 hours) 2-3 times a week (almost always preceded by smoking the finest skunk weed Northern Virginia had to offer at the time). From a strictly weight standpoint, I reached a short-lived low for adult life during this period. [220 lbs]

The third age (2003-2005) closely mirrors my time working for FELD. Long hours and fast food forced me to hire a personal trainer. I started running again after probably 8 years off, and over two years we worked up from 1 minute run/3 minute walk to solid 45 minutes at 9-11 minute pace. She was also a certified nutritionist, so I journaled several times to try and discover why my weight my was stuck. [240 lbs]


The fourth age (2005-present) began last October with my job change. I left my first trainer for one (err...two) at Mason (much closer to work and home). I started swimming 2 nights a week and lifting 5 mornings a week. In January I increased my swimming to 3-4 nights a week, with one workout much longer than the others. I saw increases in my strength and endurance, and my clothes all started to seem bigger, but my weight was still frozen at 240. I was careful not to increase the amount of food I was eating in response to my exercise which lead to a breakdown in April. I finally had to stop swimming in June and go down to 2 days a week lifting.

On Meredith's recommendation, I met with a nutritionist two weeks ago. Over two visits we tested bodyfat and base metabolic rate to put together a food plan. Between the visits, I journaled so she could get a sense of what I'm currently eating. Based on the tests, even on my worst day I was only a couple hundred calories over where I should be to drop this weight (hence, weight not going away). I learned a few very interesting things in my conversations with her:
  • An ounce of meet has 8 grams of protein, but different meets have different calorie counts. 1 oz beef = 100 cals, 1 oz chicken/pork about 50 cals, 1 oz fish = 25 cals. That 14 oz Ayers Rock Strip at Outback: 1400 calories for just the meat.
  • I'm supposed to be eating 96g protein a day, but am only getting about 72g on my best day, which explains my breakdown last April
  • Of all my meals, lunch should have the most calories (650) and protein (54g). Dinner maxes out at 450 cals and 50g protein
  • Alcohol has way too many calories

Her guidelines aren't restrictive at all, they just tell me that I need to make some different choices if I'm going to continue this level of activity. We've put together a plan from now until January to ramp my activity back up where I want it, get my weight down under 200 lbs, and bring my bodyfat under 10%.

I plan to do this with the help of my Animal Spirit Guide, Mr. Peanut. The Planters 100 cal peanut butter cookie crisps are the tasty, and if you go ape shit and eat two it's all good.

I love the picture of me in front of Krispy Kreme. I call it, "Fatty Arbuckle, Consumerist Hero".

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Real men wear ace bandages

Especially when they fall running on Friday evening, spraining their ankle and tearing their knee up. I spent the weekend in bed, and took yesterday off to run errands and catch up on some bullshit.

I guess I can go out tonight and tell bitches I got capped, get me some hard Fairfax street cred.

Or not.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Vaccuum Admistration of Justice

Are you fucking kidding me???

Judge Given 4 Years In Penis Pump Case
BRISTOW, Okla. -- A former Oklahoma judge is going to prison for four years for indecent exposure.

Former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson was sentenced Friday to one year in prison on each of four counts and Judge Allen McCall is ordering that the sentences be served consecutively.

McCall also sentenced Thompson to pay a $40,000 fine.

Thompson was convicted of indecent exposure for using a sexual device called a "penis pump" during trials - including a murder trial.

The jury recommended one year in prison and a $10,000 fine for each of the four counts and McCall agreed.

A pre-sentence report said Thompson refused to undergo psychosexual testing and still denies committing the crime.

Opie & Anthony: Commercial for CBS Radio



Do ya think that dress makes you look fat, miss? Do ya?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Video: Shakira - Hips Don't Lie

Will managed to one-up me by embedding this video into CMS this morning. Cracks me up, especially since I hate this song:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Putting CMS to Work

We're playing with the first of two Content Management Systems this week, and once Wil got the base template built I started the important work:

Return to the Pool (or: Where have I peed these past two months?)

Last night was my first time back in the pool since June. It was not a spectacular workout by any means: an easy 1200 yards in about 50 minutes, but it felt good to be back. Shoulders are a little tight today, and the chiropractor noticed when he adjusted me this afternoon. The tendon that connects my shoulder to by bicep is inflamed (which is the problem I was having before), so plenty of ice and rest are in order.

The plan is to finish out this week and next in lap swim at Oakmarr, and then move over to Mason's Masters team starting in September. I'm a little nervous about that, but the coach insists that there are 60 year olds on the team whose ass(es) I will regularly kick. We shall see.

I've also been running again the past couple weeks, and that feels really, really good. Nobody else would notice, but I think my endurance is almost back already. The last run through some Eurostyle cross country trails in Reston was awesome, and hopefully the same deal tonight.

I'm easing back into my routine before the school semester starts August 28th. Big fun.

Video: Disturbed - Land of Confusion

Mary: gah I wanted to show you something and I can't get youtube to load ;p
Mary: [link to video]
Mary: thank god for google lol
theAlphaJohn: i was just listening to that song
Mary: the video is awesome
theAlphaJohn: LOL i see why
theAlphaJohn: it's like the saturday morning version of the Ameribots and the Nazicons
Mary: LOL
theAlphaJohn: wow did i call that before the 30 second mark


Tucker Carlson's Celebrity Dance Dance Revolution


Joey emailed me this morning with the breaking news that Tucker Carlson will appear in this season's "Dancing with the Stars". I am blissfully ignorant enough not to know who he is and what this show is all about, but having read the crap below the fold I find myself enlightened (read: bored).

My immediate reaction was to change the show's format: celebrities and professional dancers pair off to compete against each other using Dance Dance Revolution, a music video game produced by Konomi.

Who would watch this show? Anime loving Asian fan-boys who live in San Fransciso. They make up exactly 0% of Tucker Carlson's demographic, which is why he needs to get up on and dance!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Alright, I admit it

It's two weeks before the semester starts, and not only did I update my Facebook profile, but I'm poking girls who were born around the time I finished Grade 4.

[ed. Conversation with Mike following this post]
Mike: um, excuse me.....
theAlphaJohn: ?
Mike: exactly what girls are you poking?
theAlphaJohn: you just read my blog
theAlphaJohn: hot incoming freshman
theAlphaJohn: and sophomores
theAlphaJohn: residentential students
Mike: you wish
theAlphaJohn: my future ex-wife lives in president's park (freshman housing)
Mike: possibly true enough, but you made it sound like the current, not the future poking.
theAlphaJohn: it's a virtual poke
Mike: oh.
theAlphaJohn: i got my profile all ready for fall semester
theAlphaJohn: i added some pictures and changed out my interests
Mike: so you should get laid soon.
theAlphaJohn: probably any minute
Mike: As the alpha john, I'm sure you'll be ready.
theAlphaJohn: im always ready
Mike: at a moment's notice.
theAlphaJohn: as a former (albeit medicore) boy scout
theAlphaJohn: i failed at knots but excelled at pharmacopea
Mike: not surprising
theAlphaJohn: a facebook profile and a puppy, i'll have six stds by midterms

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Guess where I'm NOT going?? [ed.]



Tuesday August 22nd through Saturday August 26th. I was dicking around this morning and was able to finally cash in my fucking America Airlines miles. Air and hotel is $595 for five days/four nights.

wh00t!


Fucking terrorists.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mason Ranks 199th

According to Washington Monthly's semi-annual ranking report:


Which puts us almost exactly between SUNY Albany (Princeton Review's #1 Party School in 1998 and 2004) and SUNY Buffalo (the National Weather Services #1 School for snow men, snow angels, snow plows, etc.). At least we beat Yeshiva University.

Washington Monthly does explain the method to their madness. Perhaps I'll make up my own rating system and declare that Mason is eleventeenth among state (Commonwealth) universities in the country. Who could argue with that?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Another Tire Debacle

As mentioned previously, I got a flat tire on my way home from Richmond last week. I'm at the dealership now waiting for them to put four new tires on, align the car, and charge $800.00 to my credit card.

Apparently, Subuaru only allows a tollerance of 1/4" of tread difference between tires, lest the all-wheel drive get confused and blow up. There was already 1/4" difference between the front and the rear (which is odd to begin with), but apparently the new tire is a full inch bigger than the old ones.

You may recall, I just replaced two rims and all four tires in April of 2005. That's $2000.00 in shoes for a car that will be gone in January.

FELD: CIO Decisions applauds our failures

Fred alerted Mohamed, Iraj, Perry, and me to an article in CIO Decisions "magazine" that interviewed FELD's darling new CIO NEAL (all caps).

[Click on the pictures to enlarge the actual article]


That's certainly true for Neal Guernsey, vice president and CIO of Feld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. Guernsey says he was hired because he can work as a peer among C-level executives. "I'm bringing something to the table from every job I've had," says Guernsey, who, like 62% of CIOs surveyed, has more than 20 years of IT experience.



At 53, CIO Neal Guernsey arrived at Feld Entertainment a little more than a year ago. "I decided I didn't want to work for another high-tech company," Guernsey says. "I'd rather take everything I had learned and apply it to a midmarket company." Like many CIOs, Guernsey was brought in to create change quickly, and he has replaced nearly half of a 30-member IT staff over the past 12 months. "I can see myself in this job for at least five years," Guernsey says. "My title is VP and CIO. So they are counting on me to provide guidance and to understand their business goals. There is no way that I am going to get everything done in this job that I want to do in 18 months."


Huh. That's some revisionist history right there. I'm pretty sure I did all the heavy lifting in that reorg, so I had Meredith look over my letter to the editor before I sent it off:

Editor,

While many IT professionals covet "the C title", it doesn't carry nearly the weight in companies where it does not fall in the same reporting structure as other "C titles". Don't forget, a title doesn't cost a company anything.

As the former Director of Packaged Applications for FELD Entertainment, I was tapped by NEAL (all caps) Guernsey to help architect the sweeping change he made in such a short period of time. While we had a contingency for such a large turnover, I can assure you that the attrition that FELD experienced in their IT department was not by design.

I always find these benchmark articles interesting, particularly if it can help a Senior IT Professional reach their full salary and title potential. I'm sure the rest will fall into place eventually.


FELD Entertainment: I miss that place like AIDS.