Saturday, December 22, 2012

Video Games & Violence

     With all the respect in the world to the victims of the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut I find it ridiculous some of the analogies that media outlets make between video games and violence.  I was reading an article from the Huffington Post this morning and the author presented information in such a way as to portray a direct link with video games and violent behavior.  The article can be found here.

      Here is a small section of the article that illustrates my point.
"Someone in the class brought in a video game called "Counter-Strike," a first-person shooting video game in which players compete against each other as either terrorists or counter-terrorists, Frost said.

Lanza "seemed pretty interested in the game," Frost recalled, and would play it with other students. He remembers the weapons Lanza chose: an M4 military-style assault rifle and a Glock handgun.

During the rampage at the school, Lanza used a military-style assault rifle and carried handguns, authorities said."

     So what I would like to know is what Lanza had for breakfast on the day he played Counter-Strike?  Is it possible that he had the same breakfast on the day he went on this rampage?  If so, perhaps we should look into why that particular breakfast causes violent behavior.

     Look, these facts are utterly absurd.  For one thing, this other person can remember the exact guns that another person chose in a video game during high school some 2-3 years ago?  That is quite a memory.  And besides that, the game is a first person shooter with military style weapons.  What other kinds of guns is he going to choose?  A water pistol or a Nerf gun?

     If first person shooters or even video games in general cause violent behavior then why do we not have so many more cases?  I have read estimates that Call of Duty: Black Ops II sold between 6.5 and 7.2 million units on the day it was released alone.  That is just one game!  Literally millions of people play Halo 4, Black Ops II, and Battlefield 3 every single day.  If we are to believe the media that there is some kind of direct link between video games and violence then where is the evidence?  While we are on that subject, how many people below the age of 40 have not played a single video game?  Chances are pretty good that if someone commits a horrific crime and they are below the age of 40 they have probably played video games at least once.

     It is time that we start taking a good hard look at the real evidence that comes out in nearly every single one of these cases.  There are people out there that need help.  They have emotional, behavioral, and in general some psychological issues that need to be addressed.  Perhaps we are not doing enough as a society to help these people.  We need to better identify these behavior patterns and make it easier for parents to get some assistance.  Maybe I don't have all the answers, but I know that linking video games to tragedies like this while the underlying behavioral issues are clearly the problem is just downright ridiculous.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Today is December 20th and this is weigh in day.  The weight gain has stopped at least for this last five day period.  I am now holding steady at 340 pounds.

I can tell that I am going to have a problem.  This time of year is packed with parties and celebrations.  It seems like everywhere you turn there are treats and goodies to tempt you.  Today we had a holiday potluck at work and there were cookies, burgers, hot dogs, and all manner of deserts.

I need to confess that on the 16th I went and saw the new Hobbit movie.  While there I had a bag of popcorn with a healthy amount of butter and an extra large Coke.  Overall, I have done pretty well with not drinking soda.  I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have had soda since October 22nd.  For me, that is amazing.

Another temptation is that I have a lot of cookies and chips at my house.  Also, my parents are coming to visit me for the holidays and it will be very interesting to see how I eat while they are here.  Typically I do fairly well on my own but when my mom or dad are cooking all bets are off.  They are much better at making home cooked meals so I will need to be careful not to eat too much.

Here is what I propose to do about this.  I honestly hate counting calories.  It is just so hard to stick with it.  Instead I am going to try to eat four times a day.  The key to this will be limiting myself to only one serving at each of those meals.  My downfall in the past has been consuming more than one serving per meal.  I will relax a bit on what I eat but by limiting myself to one serving I should also be able to limit my caloric intake at the same time.  Just as I have reported the times that I have had a soda so shall I report any time that I eat more than one serving.  Hopefully this will help me to stay on track as we enter the holiday season.

I won't make any commitments to walking since my parents will be here soon.  I do need to get that started up and perhaps as part of a future post will make a commitment to begin reporting on that as well.  My next regularly scheduled blog post will be on December 25th.  Be safe if you are travelling and I look forward to the next post.  Take care.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Not Good

I have really been struggling.  I have been very stressed lately.  I am having trouble regulating my diet and it shows.  I have gained another two pounds since my last post.  I am now back up to 340 pounds.

I know the holiday season should be an enjoyable time but there is so much going on in my life right now that I feel like I cannot keep it all straight.  Between trying to start up my side business, my normal job, and my personal life I feel pulled in too many different directions.  Like a lot of people who struggle with their weight when I get stressed I tend to eat more than I should.

If I continue to look on the bright side I am still down ten pounds from where I was before I started this blog.  That just doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore though.  I need to work harder.

The next definite blog update will be on December 20th.  Goodbye for now.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Weight loss can be a lot like life in some ways.  There are highs and there are lows.  The last time I posted an update I was determined and things were going good.  Unfortunately, five days can make quite a difference.  I am going to keep this short because I am kind of upset with myself and down in the dumps.  I have gained back two pounds.  My weight currently stands at 338 pounds.

I thought I could get away with another trip to Macayos.  Their Baja Chicken is so good.  Like I tell my kids, you mess with the bull and you get the horns.

I keep trying to look on the bright side.  Sure I am down twelve pounds since beginning this journey but that does little to improve my mood right now.  Then again, maybe it is good to be mad and upset with myself as that usually results in me trying harder.  I will hopefully have better news on December 15th when I post my next update.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


December 5th is weigh in day and that means it is time to update the blog with the latest numbers.  I am down another three pounds since the 1st of December!  My weigh in this morning was 336 pounds which means that since October 22nd I have lost 14 pounds total.  I am excited!  Who knew weight loss could be so addictive.  I am as determined as ever and actually excited about sticking to my diet.

I have not had soda in some time now.  I think it is really starting to pay dividends because I have been able to have a few meals which I know were high in calories and yet turn around and lose another three pounds in the same five day period.  Things are going great and I am really enjoying this journey.

Walking needs to start happening though.  It seems like I always have a valid reason for not doing it and I am well aware that there will come a time when the weight does not come off so easily.  One of my friends had some good suggestions about ways to get in some exercise during the normal course of a day.  The reason I like walking so much is that I enjoy getting out of the house.  Either way, I need to step it up when it comes to exercise.

The next weigh in will be on December 10th.  I hope to have more good news to report at that time.  Until then, be safe my friends!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 2012 Wrap Up

I want to begin by apologizing for not posting an update on November 30th.  I was busy and since I knew that I would be doing a monthly wrap up on December 1st I just decided to do one post today instead.  The month of November has come to a close and with it, the second chapter of my weight loss journey.  Another pound has been shed since my last blog update on the 25th of November.

In keeping with the honesty of this blog I did share a pitcher of Pepsi with my kids when we went to Organ Stop Pizza on the night of November 25th.  I love that place but while they do offer water it costs $1.50 per bottle.  Maybe I should have paid that but I have a hard time bringing myself to pay that much for water.

I have been sick quite a bit lately.  It seems to be making the rounds as many people I know have also been sick.  There have been a couple of times where I weighed and was down a lot but I know that was just from being dehydrated.

My weight has not been below 340 pounds in a while.  I am pretty excited to have that number in the rear view mirror with my weigh in this morning coming in at 339 pounds.  The weight is coming off kind of slow I suppose but I am staying positive because at least I am going in the right direction even if it is taking some time.

So, here is the wrap up for November 2012:
  • Total weight loss to date: 11 pounds
  • Total weight loss this year: 11 pounds
  • Total weight loss November 2012: 6 pounds
  • Total weight still to lose: 140 pounds
The next weigh in will be December 5th.  Hopefully additional progress will be made as I continue on this journey.  Thank you for following along with me and providing encouragement.  This is changing my life!