25 June 2007

The unexpected 50

I was not going to do a weight update for a while, until I hit 220 pounds/100 kg but then I realized today at noon when I weighed in at 230 pounds/104 kg, that this meant that I have lost 50 pounds/23kg already! That is pretty momentous, so you get a unscheduled weight update today!

This means to maintain my current weight, I need to eat 2458 calories a day, but I am continuing to try and keep my daily caloric intake at 1500 calories, which in theory should allow me to lose just shy of 1/3 of a pound (5 1/3 ounce)/0.15 kg a day with my swimming laps for 1 hour on my 2 days off each week.

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22 June 2007

The Naming Muse and the Agreeing Shopkeeper

After many requests for pictures of some of my friends in China, I am complying and posting a picture of TAN LiYuan and CHEN SiFang.



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17 June 2007

The 235# Clarification

First off Happy Father's Day to all of the other fathers out there. Both the fathers of adopted and biological children, as well as to all of the Orthodox Christian presbyters and deacons.

Secondly, I never mentioned my exact weight in my last blog entry. I am down to 235 pounds/107 kilograms, so that means so far I have lost 45 lbs/20 kg so far this year.

For international visitors: Both "#" and "lbs" are abbreviations for pounds in the American Imperial weight system.

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16 June 2007

Under 240# and I really have missed ...

... swimming! Today it was 79°F/26°C and my back was sore so I felt like swimming. My apartment complex has a private swimming pool and thankfully due to the cloud cover no one was in it, so for over an hour I did laps in the pool. Before my suspension, as an active clergyman, I could not go swimming in public places, and so I avoided using the pool.

Yesterday was my birthday, but I consider the vacant pool a birthday gift from God one day late. :-) At the end a black gentleman came in to the pool, but as I suspected, he went no further than waist-deep, so it did not interrupt my laps in the 6 foot water on the other side of the pool.

After swimming for over an hour I am exhausted and am going to go to bed after some I eat some vegetarian sesame noodles.

For those wondering how my weight loss is going, I am now under 240 pounds/109 kg so I have passed my half-way point in the amount of weight that I want to lose! Another birthday present of sorts, I guess you could say. For those keeping track, I started my weight loss program when I was 280 lbs/127 kg and would like to be under 200 lbs/91 kg by the end of this year.

The next milestone I am likely to report on will be 220 pounds/100 kg.

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14 June 2007

Leonard Cohen's Best Metaphorical Song, "Everybody Knows"

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows
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13 June 2007

Judging People By Their Appearances

Today at work we had a perfect example of why you should not judge people based on their appearances. An elderly man came in and was extremely rude to everyone, made outrageous demands, argued the prices, etc. Right behind him were 3 punks with various piercings, including gauged ears, and very stereotypical punk clothing and hair. Yet these 3 guys were extremely polite, sat down to let us take care of the older man's every request and then tipped us with their change. My boss and I both used to be in that scene, but we did not treat them any different than we treated the older man or any other customer, yet they were the example of how to treat others, while the man with many more years in his life was the opposite. Something to remember next time when you see a group of youths who in your eyes look like freaks, or the next time you see and elderly man. Do not prejudge them based on looks alone. You may be surprised who the true gentlemen in life are!

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12 June 2007

6 year old girl sings, 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on Britain's Got Talent


Conny, 6 year old girl who has been singing since she was 2 sings, 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on Britain's Got Talent and amazes the judges so much that it brought tears to one of the judges eyes.


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07 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 4: "Is a Hero the Victor of the People?"

Meanings of names matter a lot in Chinese culture. 尼古拉 is Nicholas or Nikolai transliterated in to English. In HanYu Pinyin it is ní-gǔ-lā or ni2gu3la1 depending on which way you write your pinyin. So that is actually what most of my Chinese friends call me when they speak. Tan LiYuan actually calls me "Ni-gu-la-si" when she is saying my English name however. It is a variant transliteration of Nicholas. Nicholas or Nikolai means "Victory of the people." Nicholas is the familiar Greek form of Nikolaos, and Nikolai is the Russian form of said Greek name.

Because of this, one person pointed out that if we consider 豪杰 (HaoJie) to mean roughly "Hero", as Google and Chen SiFang both say, it is not too far away from calling a man "Victory of the people" which also makes 豪杰 (HaoJie) an equivalent to Nicholas or Nikolai. However your mileage may vary, and if you think you have a better Chinese equivalent that also matches my true character, please leave a comment with your contrary ideas. I am all ears! :-D

What does 尼古拉 mean in Chinese? So far I have only gotten one answer, and everyone else says they have no idea at all. LOL! That answer was, "The god that protects sailors and children." Seems that they are thinking of Saint Nicholas of Myra in Lycia, there. In secular Chinese, saints are called gods it seems, as Buddhist saints are also called gods or goddesses. Chinese Orthodox may have a better term that my secular and Buddhist friends are not familiar with however.

And since it usually comes up when I have the discussion on my name's meaning, my long last name has a long meaning too, which is roughly "First son (crown prince) of the Russian King (Tsar) Stanislaus of Poland." My last name simply cannot be transliterated in to Chinese from what I have been told by many Chinese-speaking people. As for my middle name, well it means the exact same thing as my first name, oddly enough.

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06 June 2007

Johnny Cash "Hurt"

This is the video that made Nine Inch Nail front man, Trent Reznor say, "'Hurt' isn't my song anymore." Perhaps very fitting that this was also Johnny Cash's last video.

I hurt myself today,
to see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain,
the only thing that's real.
The needle tears a hole,
the old familiar sting.
Try to kill it all away,
but I remember everything.

What have I become,
my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know,
goes away in the end.
And you could have it all,
my empire of dirt.
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

I wear this crown of thorns,
upon my liar's chair.
Full of broken thoughts,
I cannot repair.
Beneath the stains of time,
the feelings disappear.
You are someone else,
I am still right here.

What have I become,
my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know,
goes away in the end.
And you could have it all,
my empire of dirt.
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

If I could start again,
a million miles away.
I would keep myself,
I would find a way.
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05 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 3: "Hero"

So my other friend Chen SiFang was told about the name I was given, 豪杰 (HaoJie), and she had a slightly different definition for it. Chen SiFang said 豪杰 (HaoJie) roughly was equivalent to the English word, Hero, although not exactly. However Chen SiFang thought 豪杰 (HaoJie) was fitting and perfect for me, so it seems that Tan LiYuan did a good job since my other Chinese friends like 豪杰 (HaoJie) and find it appropriate to my character. Always nice to hear. :-)

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02 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 2: "Eximious"

Well I received a surprise letter from Tan LiYuan today and she told me the meaning of 豪杰 (HaoJie)! Apparently the name means "eximious". For those of you who may not know the meaning of the word, eximious, here are the 3 traits that define an eximious person according to Dictionary.com:
  1. Distinguished
  2. Eminent
  3. Excellent
Needless to say, this name which was chosen because of my character, is an even greater honor than I had expected! Thank you Tan LiYuan!

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01 June 2007

豪杰 (HaoJie) Part 1.5: "Update"

I forgot that yesterday when I received my name it was Thursday morning and Tan LiYuan is really busy with work from Thursday through Monday, so I may not have an update on the name until Tuesday evening after work. Google says 豪杰 (HaoJie) means "Hero" but I do not trust the Google Translator implicitly, especially since its Chinese translations are in beta still!

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Weather in Nanning, Guangxi, P.R.China



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