Microsoft Outlook is a wee pessimistic

As you might know, I am a Mac user.  Even at work, I convinced them to get me a Mac to use (although I have to run Windows on it).  One thing I love about the Mac is that it (usually) just works.  Maybe not so much with the new MobileMe, but it’s really true that retarting your computer is something I just don’t have to do when running OSX.

Yesterday, while running Windows here at work, I got a funny message while attempting to open Microsoft Outlook.  Click to see it a little better:

That’s quite a bit that Outlook can’t do!  Come on, Outlook.  Don’t be so negative!

Why is it So Hard to Wake Up in the Morning?

Picture the scenario:

You hear this noise.  It’s the most annoying noise you have ever heard, yet all it is is a song playing on the radio.  You start to recognize the song, but quickly go back to being quite annoyed.  You have just been pulled out of a deep sleep, and despite the fact that you have been in that sleeping state for 7-8 hours, you still feel almost dead to the world.  “If only it was a Saturday, then I could sleep in a little…”

Why is it so stinking hard to get up sometimes?  An article I just read suggests that it might be our own doing, especially to those of us sleeping in on the weekends.

Your clock is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a part of the brain that controls the body’s biological rhythms… People who have trouble crawling out of bed probably have an inner clock set to late wake-up and sleep times, a condition known as phase delay.

It is possible to adjust your phase-delayed body clock, Matheson says, but at a price: No sleeping in on the weekends. “When people sleep late on weekends, they revert to their natural phase-delayed rhythm,” she explains. This makes it harder to wake up early on weekdays. You can train yourself to wake up earlier, Matheson says, by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day (and heeding its call).

Also, if you watch TV or visit my lovely website right before beddy-bye time, that might contribute as well.  So stop reading and go to bed!

Read the article first, though.

RagamuffinTop Challenge week 9

This week, like the video says, I started to jog alongside the road early in the morning.  Because of all of the hills, my endurance is building up quite well.  Anyways, down to what you’re here for:

5.2 pounds baby!!  That brings the total loss up to 19 pounds, which is only 11 shy of my original goal.  Here are the overall stats:

  • Starting weight: 289.0
  • Last’s week’s weight: 275.2
  • Today’s weigh-in weight:270.0
  • Today’s weight loss/gain: -5.2 pounds!!
  • TOTAL +/-: -19.0 pounds

Remember, if you want to take part in the RagamuffinTop Challenge, go here to read all about the details.  Basically, you set a goal and post the results weekly.  The best part is that the entire world is your accountability partner!

The most awesome belt buckle EVER

Wow, I never thought that would be a post title on this website.  Anyways, check this out:

That’s right, an NES belt buckle that you can actually buy.

Hook up your new belt buckle to any TV and instantly begin playing the classics. Despite it’s sleek design, the Nintendo Entertainment System belt buckle actually plays old school NES games.

Sprouting up in many recent fashion shows in France, the NESystem Buckle is sure to take the world by storm. Included are two controllers, a power adapter, A/V cables, Super Mario Bros and those disguise glasses with the nose so no one knows who you are. We do not recommend wearing this buckle while driving, sitting or talking to girls.

It costs $300, but think about it.  You show up to a party.  People will see you wearing a Nintendo and immediately either a) think you rule, or b) run away from you.  And if they run, you can just go hook up your belt buckle to the nearest tv.  It’s a win-win!

Get it here.

30 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart disease is something that unfortunately runs in my family.  Until recently, I really never thought about the implications of what that means.  If you have been reading this blog for the last few weeks, then you know that getting healthy has become a priority of mine.

There are always the obvious ways of getting healthy and reducing the risk of the above-mentioned items.  Eating right, exercise… that’s pretty standard.  Well, here are several other ways to take preventative measures against health-related disease.  For example:

2. Eat a piece of dark chocolate several times a week. Believe it or not, several small studies suggest dark chocolate could be good for your heart! The beneficial effects are likely due to chemicals in chocolate called flavonoids, which help arteries stay flexible. Other properties of the sweet stuff seem to make arteries less likely to clot and prevent the “bad” cholesterol, LDL, from oxidizing, making it less likely to form plaque. Dark chocolate is also rich in magnesium and fiber. But steer clear of milk chocolate, which is high in butterfat and thus tends to raise cholesterol.

5. Tape-record yourself at night. If you hear yourself snoring (or if your sleeping partner has been kicking you a lot), make an appointment with your doctor. You may have sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing stops hundreds of times throughout the night. It can lead to high blood pressure and other medical problems, and even increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.

6. Go to bed an hour earlier tonight. A Harvard study of 70,000 women found that those who got less than seven hours of sleep had a slightly higher risk of heart disease. Researchers suspect lack of sleep increases stress hormones, raises blood pressure, and affects blood sugar levels. Keep your overall sleeping time to no more than nine hours, however. The same study found women sleeping nine or more hours had a slightly increased risk of heart disease.

Several other (27, in fact) ways are listed, and all of them seem easy enough.  The point they make in the article is that these are small changes, but if implemented in your life, they can help you avoid these life-threatening diseases.

Read the article.

Use ONLY the iPhone for a week?

For the last week and a half or so, I have been the proud owner of an iPhone.  So far it has blown me away in all that it can do, and it got me to thinking… Could I go a week without using my personal laptop at home and just use my iPhone instead?  I have internet, the ability to post here, and email.  Sure, I can’t edit video, but for casual use, I bet I could get away with it.

I’m toying with the idea for now, but who knows…