birra's Journal

birra's Journal


Honor: 13    [ Give / Take ]


14 entries this month

The highlight of my... month.

03:48 Jan 25 2009
Times Read: 1,083

J: What time do you want us in bed?

B: Well, it's Satruday night. Not like you have school tomorrow.

J: Yeah, but it's already past nine o'clock...

B: So? You can't stay up late and have fun once in a while? I think you can. What's wrong with that?

E: You're like.. the best dad. Ever.

B: *melts*



03:51 Jan 25 2009

You are *hugs*

16:27 Jan 25 2009


21:08 Jan 25 2009

It's moments like these we remember when we're all grown up. I agree with the munchkins, you are the best.



05:13 Jan 22 2009
Times Read: 1,098

...I suggested the coconut rum and coke to Images when I was in New Orleans... it's too tasty.

Too. Damn. Tasty.

I need another... bottle.



06:54 Jan 25 2009

Yes it was, but remember it was Vanilla Coke and Rum. I think that really kicked it up.


We'll call that a success...

04:55 Jan 22 2009
Times Read: 1,099

...but I guess we'll find out for sure in a couple weeks if it was.

Why does it seem like the rum goes so fast around here? Hmmm...

I've discovered that left to my own devices, with no one else to feed and an unpredictable travel schedule... my diet will consist of nothing but cheese, salads and stuff made with a tomato based sauce...

...and really, what's the point of shopping now when I fly out on Sunday? That's just stuff sitting around for a week... or two.. or five.. FEH.

Kentucky ruins everything.



04:05 Jan 25 2009

If you get a day off and want to come hang out in boring old Huntington West Virginia, you're more than welcome to come chill with the Duc and I.


Oh, and another thing...

04:22 Jan 21 2009
Times Read: 1,121

...I'm changing the format of my journal... all the same crap will be in the same places, but I'm renaming all the sections... it still relates...

...if you can figure out how.

...there isn't enough rum in the world tonight... FEH.



04:38 Jan 21 2009

I like the new section names. A language I can relate to...



04:11 Jan 21 2009
Times Read: 1,124

By the way... the last few weeks have been a great time of self-reflection for me.

The entry about... patience and free will and whatnot was more directed at myself. A reminder of what I need to stay grounded and not let my emotions get the better of me in trying times.

And these times, for a multitude of reasons, have been the most trying of my life...

...bear with me in my soul searching. I promise I'll put everything back right were I got it from...





03:48 Jan 21 2009
Times Read: 1,126

...wasn't that an amazingly tedious exercise, searching through a 45,000 row spreadsheet to discover... you have so much mundane information and it is all completely irrelevant to my life.

Way to go!

I think I'll keep the info I did find my own little secret until I need it, though...

Good-bye, yellow brick road... good-bye.





15:55 Jan 20 2009
Times Read: 1,159

How could anyone be sad for America today? We get to usher out perhaps the worst president and administration in our history... a president that probably should have been impeached rather than re-elected...

...it can only get better from here.



16:20 Jan 20 2009

Worst? Ha! I think Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter set that bar pretty high. History may yet look upon Bush the Sequel favorably... someday. We'll see... The Dalai Lama loves Bush, so he's got that going for him.


Today is a day to be proud of America and her peaceful transition of power from one elected official to another. We're having a party at work to watch the inauguration, incidentally... so I'm logging out to have some fun!


17:35 Jan 20 2009

Yeah, I gotta agree with Thoth on this one. We never know until we walk in the shoes of another what information he saw, when and how accurate. While I agree that he could have done some things better in retrospect, we all have that 20/20 hindsight. He was just in the limelight more.

19:42 Jan 20 2009

I'm so grateful to have a President who is intelligent, articulate . . . and dignified, all of the qualities Bush lacked.

My only regret is that I won't live long enough to see the scummy facts leak out on the Bush administration.

20:52 Jan 20 2009

Meh I'm on Birra's side...Bush should definately have been impeached rather than re-elected.

22:45 Jan 20 2009

We impeached a president over a lie about sexual relations with an intern but, we re-elect the man who lied to the ENTIRE nation, wait, world about why we were going to war with Iraq. *confused*

I do believe Obama has a vision for this country. I believe in his ideals, I believe in his passion, I believe it is time for change. He is only one man, it's going to take the country supporting him if we ever want to get out of this mess.

The only constant is change and I'm looking forward to the ride.

04:18 Jan 24 2009

one can only hope.


From the black and red recesses of the gray...

18:50 Jan 19 2009
Times Read: 1,175

Life isn’t always comprised of exactly what we want at the time we want it. Sometimes, getting what we want takes effort, work, patience and understanding. Quite often the anticipation for getting what we want is ultimately more stimulating and exciting than getting what we wanted is.

Many times the anticipation itself is all we ever get.

I feel like I’ve lived most of my life this way… anticipating, and then not getting what I wanted.

I’ve learned to cope with this. Over time, we learn to adjust to a great many things. We don’t have to lower our expectations, but we simply learn to not be heartbroken or crushed when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Consider it perhaps a learned helplessness.

So in a way, I understand those feelings… but in another way, I fail to truly understand because it has been so long since I’ve made that realization.

Now I know I can control most of what happens to me in life, but some things are out of my control. If I step out into traffic against the light and get hit by a car; that was in my control. If I step out into traffic when I have the right-of-way and get hit by a meteor… that was out of my control.

How other people feel, behave and respond to me and the situations around us are out of my control. How I respond to them is completely in my control.

Responses are a decision. Sometimes the knee-jerk reaction or gut response isn’t the proper one. Responses often require thought… stepping back and examining the situation at-hand both from a short-term and long-term perspective. Maybe even some deep-breathing or walking away until the appropriate response can be contemplated.

Patience and understanding go a long way in most cases, but not always.

I made a commitment to myself a long time ago to never respond out of anger, but take that step back and change my mood before responding. No matter how carefully you choose your words, if you are angry your words will reflect it. If you’re at ease with yourself, your words will reflect that too.

Whatever your mood, it will color your words and the recipient of your response will know and most times respond in kind.

But then there is that one situation in my life that defeats the whole damn thing. No amount of patience and understanding could fix it. Nothing could sway things in my direction. I gave it time, chances, attempted dialogue and open communication…

…sometimes enough is enough, and you need to just walk away from it.

And take away from all things the lessons learned...



18:05 Jan 20 2009

Indeed we should control ourselves more, thing is, we can't be perfect but we can work to better ourselves.

22:35 Jan 20 2009

Wise words my friend.

It is the beauty of free will which makes each of us unique. We are human, with emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. Some are capable of getting under our skin and undermining any attempt at remaining calm. It happens to all of us. Some people know how to push our buttons or have simply been pushing them for too long.

You are a kind and beautiful soul with more patience than most can ever hope to achieve. You constantly strive to do the right thing. You've crossed the river. You'll find your way out of the woods, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'll leave some breadcrumbs along the way. :)


Mmmm, mmmm good...

23:08 Jan 15 2009
Times Read: 1,204

Last night I made myself a hot toddy with orange and spice herbal tea, honey and some 151...

...hot, yummy and kick-your-ass good.

Give it a try.



00:21 Jan 16 2009

Try Barenjager in it (honey liquor) but yumm I be a fan!

00:48 Jan 16 2009

Ok. I'm intrigued..what might 151 be?

02:53 Jan 16 2009

Rum - gold in color, 151 proof.

Yes, 75% alcohol.




12:58 Jan 16 2009

woohoo, count me in as I am getting sick...yay me.

19:28 Jan 16 2009

Uh huh.. sick.. sure.. I see..

...any excuse to not get on that plane.



04:27 Jan 15 2009
Times Read: 1,234

Ok... reading this article in Men's Health entitled "14 Health Foods That Aren't." It comes from their "Eat this, not that," series. Anyway, it lists out 14 commonly eaten foods that "dieters" tend to gravitate toward when they give up things like steak and pizza, and then offers a more sensible alternative.

For example, the first item on their list is a bran muffin.

1. Bran Muffin

420 calories

20 g fat

Eat this instead!

Ham, egg and cheese on an English muffin

300 calories

12 g fat

Bran muffins are comprised of two things your body doesn't want in the morning: sugar and refined flour. Both will work to spike your blood sugar, which signals your body to start storing fat and sets you up for a mid-morning crash. And with only trace amounts of fiber, there's nothing healthy about this misunderstood muffin. The breakfast sandwich, on the other hand, is a surprisingly great way to start your day. Besides having fewer calories, fat, and carbs, it also offers about 20 grams of protein, which we really need in the morning to jumpstart our metabolism.

Ok... I will commonly have something like an egg, cheese and ham breakfast sandwich. I don't see this as an unhealthy food if prepared properly and you stick to one.

But can the data on a bran muffin be correct? I don’t have any… I really wouldn’t ever choose one unless my options were a bran muffin or a moldy piece of something left too long in the back of the fridge…

But the rest of the list is full of stuff I commonly have… and maybe even had today.

2. Chicken Caesar Salad

3. Tuna Melt

4. Chicken Wrap

5. Turkey Burger

6. Fruit Smoothies

7. Granola Bar

8. Pasta Salad

9. Yogurt with fruit on the bottom

10. Bagel with Cream Cheese

11. Pasta Primavera

12. Dried Fruit

13. Fish Sandwich

14. Margarine

For the sake of not having a 50 page journal entry I’m just going to look at two or three things I can make an easy comparison to.

Granola Bars

200 calories

15 g sugars

Eat this instead!

1 oz cheddar cheese with Triscuits

150 calories

5 g sugars

Ever wonder what keeps a granola bar together? The makers of one of America’s favorite (and most misunderstood) snacks use mostly high-fructose corn syrup as their glue, which in turns quickly raises blood sugar and cancels out any of the potential benefits you might otherwise get from the oats. By switching over to good old-fashioned cheese and crackers, you swap out sugar and calories for protein and fiber. Talk about a great deal!

Ok, I usually have some Triscuits and cheese around anyway, so I don’t disagree with their suggestion but they also don’t specify how many you can have under that 150 calorie limit. A serving size of Triscuits is 6 crackers and is listed on the box as 120 calories. A single slice (1 oz) of cheddar cheese on the package I have is reported at 80 calories. I think the math there is a little off, as it might be for the granola bars as well. I buy the Nature Valley brand – serving size is two bars and it reports in at 180 calories per serving and 11g of sugar. Comparable to the cheese and crackers, lower in fat and probably will satisfy your appetite just as well.

Bagel with Cream Cheese

700 calories

40 g fat

13g saturated

Eat this instead!

Cheese omelet

425 calories

18 g

6 g saturated

Bagels are bogus. The bread is bad enough, containing 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates, but tack on the liberal cream cheese schmear (by our survey of popular breakfast chains, up to 4 ounces for a single bagel!) and you’re "harmless" breakfast snack just got worse than a Whopper. The omelet swap will save you nearly 300 calories, plus provide a surge of metabolism-driving protein. And a recent study from the University of Connecticut found that eggs can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

I know someone who has a serious pet-peeve of getting a bagel at a restaurant and having to scrape off a one-inch thick layer of cream cheese from it.

But I think this goes more again towards the notion of, be careful what and where you choose. The bagels I have in my freezer are only 200 calories per bagel. Combined with the cream cheese spread I have (if you keep it down to a reasonable coating) is only 70 calories per serving. 270 calories is way short of their calculation of 700 calories they probably got when they bought the mega-bagel combo meal at Dunkin Donuts.

I won’t knock the omelet at all, I had one this morning!

Chicken Caesar Salad

(Dinner-size portion)

900 calories

60 g fat

Eat this instead!

Grilled chicken on mixed greens

400 calories

20 g fat

Caesar salads suffer the consequences of two natural disasters: a flood of fatty dressing and a blizzard of Parmesan cheese and croutons. Even a Caesar side salad before a meal can cost you up to 500 calories. Skip the emperor treatment in favor of a simple grilled chicken breast tossed in a bed of mixed greens tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is a vast improvement over the treacherous Caesar dressing, and the absence of a Parmesan sea means that you'll save nearly entire meal's worth of calories by making this simple swap.

Ok, whoa on the comparison here. You’re comparing a dinner-sized chicken Caesar to what size grilled chicken on mixed greens? What is a dinner-size portion anyway – a full dinner plate stacked 6-inches high? Typical more than you can eat but you will anyway kind of meal?

A side salad is 500 calories? At some restaurants, maybe. I made myself a chicken Caesar wrap on spinach & garlic tortilla, with romaine, baby spinach and a modest amount of dressing and parmesan cheese – by my calculations two of these together would have just topped 900 calories. But one was enough of a meal in itself (I usually have a bigger lunch than dinner) and comes in just above the grilled chicken suggestion… not that I wouldn’t enjoy that one either.

These professing what is best for you articles tend to annoy me for these reasons. Vague comparisons and sweeping generalizations. No doubt a few readers will swear off having a bagel at the morning meeting or will get the 16oz steak instead of the Caesar salad because of reading this and not considering it further.

The bottom line for me has always been – watch what I eat, keep the quantities reasonable and just pay attention to what I’m putting in my stomach. When I travel I avoid chains and fast-food. I look for the down-home kind of places where they will probably make their meals with the idea that flavor can come from more than fat, butter and grease.

Take these “suggestions” with a grain of salt… that is, if they would let you have any salt at all.



05:19 Jan 15 2009

They should have you write articles...Someone with common sense.

Oh no wait, it's insecurity and stupidity that drives people to go insane over what they eat... Articles like that, and diet books have better sales.

Here's an idea for them too. Enjoy what you eat and do so in moderation. Instead of fretting over what the articles tell you to do, take a fucking walk.

13:36 Jan 15 2009

What you do differently?

You have already read your labels- you watch what you eat... I can't tell you how many of my clients have NO clue as to what they eat or the caloric intake it is.

All of their suggestions while sound from the averages- fast food (Olive Gardens, Red lobster, Kelseys- any resturaunt that ships in the food frozen and reheats it), they will not give you the actual amounts of resturaunts that make their own. Chains are EVIL when it comes to caloric count because everything HAS to be processed to make it the same across the country.

Still they also miss what some of these foods are used for. Granola- well I'd rather have that in the mountains when my glucose levels plummet. Or I use them instead of a candy bar.

However most Americans don't read labels, don't know how to eat- and so this give them "food for thought" about what they do unconsciously every day. Personally if I had my druthers I would sign ever over weight person up with a trainer once a week and a nutritionist. Now don't bitch about cost- as weight watchers, jenny craig, nutra system if you are on their full "programs" which includes their food- are over $200 a month. With a cost of $200 month for a trainer and $60 for a first visit with a nutritionist, and then $30 monthly follow ups (which MOST insurance companies will pay for) you get a diet/meal plan that is designed for you, and workouts that are also based off of you- to get you where you want to go.

Best part, you will be less likely to "fall off" as if you have a good trainer they will find things you like and have enjoyment in doing- so already your chances of long term success increase!


Sorry I guess this would be one of my rants too.... *backs out of Birra's journal hanging head in shame*

13:40 Jan 15 2009

I'm going to remember the bran muffin when I shop on Saturday, I'm certain the food value is wrong, but I'll certainly check, just coz I'm curious.

21:48 Jan 15 2009

Ya know, seriously. Just cut out as much high fructose corn syrup, msg, and trans fats as you can and viola...instant weight loss. Oh and stay away from fast food. You cannot turn into Jared by getting double meat and double cheese and extra pickles and dressing on your sub!


Amazing coincidence?

17:26 Jan 11 2009
Times Read: 1,283

...either someone got a hold of ThothLestat's

baby pictures, or he has some kids out there that he doesn't know about!



17:29 Jan 11 2009

LOL, nice :P

17:44 Jan 11 2009

Hey, my attorney says the results of the blood tests were "inconclusive".

In. Con. Clusive.

17:46 Jan 11 2009

*throws the red flag*

I think we need to review the call on the field....

17:46 Jan 11 2009

Haha. That's quite funny.

Needed a little smile. Thanks.

17:50 Jan 11 2009




20:56 Jan 06 2009
Times Read: 1,306



Keep it in mind...

04:01 Jan 06 2009
Times Read: 1,323

Necessity is the mother of invention...

...but the paternity test came back negative - I'm not the father...



23:54 Jan 06 2009

I thought Frank Zappa wa the Mother of Invention.

17:45 Jan 11 2009

nicely played, KCRC.

: D



20:05 Jan 05 2009
Times Read: 1,341

...we now get "The Unborn" ads in Spanish too?




21:33 Jan 05 2009

Los anuncios de La Semilla Del Mal hacen mi espasmo de la rodilla izquierdo.

21:48 Jan 05 2009


05:45 Jan 06 2009

The Unborn ads give me a spasm in my left knee?

21:02 Jan 07 2009

Qué Joli dijo

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