Diet, then Exercise. Diet first. Atkins and Paleo work.

Yep, I don’t need food anymore. Just water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.-Veep

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Visited this Denny’s before the Russians built a Denny’s at the North Pole.

Historically, I had been able to bring down/control my weight by exercise alone.  In fact, at the age of 18, I was singly responsible for 80% of McDonalds® pre-tax profit.  A sample order:

  • One Big Mac®
  • Two Cheeseburgers
  • One Large Fries
  • Make that Two Large Fries
  • Nine Pack of Chicken McNuggets© with Hot Mustard Sauce
  • Make Sure You Put in THREE Sauce Packs
  • A Cherry Pie
  • No, Make that Two Cherry Pies
  • Large Orange Drink.

I would then look at my date and ask if she wanted anything.  I did learn that high school girls like a healthy eater, or were perhaps amazed to see such a consumption event.

When I was between 15 and 19 I could eat like this each and every night, and not fluctuate too much during the school year, and I wasn’t fat, either.  Now the easiest part of almost any daily workout started with a quarter mile run.  During an average workout, I’d sweat out about a gallon of water.  That 7.48 pounds of water.  Or sixteen metric beers.  In reality, one of our coaches said that a day of our practice made boot camp in the 70’s look easy, so we were really working hard.

Fast forward to early dates with the Not Yet The Mrs.  We visited her hometown, and were walking down Main Street.  We took a left hand turn into a bakery and inhaled the smell of just baked sugar cookies on a spring day.  She smiled at the aroma as the memories came flooding in.

It is now that I have to come to a shameful admission:  The Mrs. has a drug problem.  If she doesn’t take a certain drug, she starts sweating, and if none is administered, eventually withdrawal symptoms will kill her.

I’m speaking of insulin.

At the tender age of eleven, The Certainly Not Yet The Mrs. was diagnosed with Type I diabetes.  Type I diabetes is not the “addicted to Twinkies® and chubby and insulin seems to not work anymore” but rather the “pancreas has left the building and no longer produces insulin type.”  She actually slugged me in the upper arm the first time I looked her in the eye and told she should deal with her addiction.

You see, insulin is absolutely required for your body to turn sugar into the gasoline that runs your cells.  If you don’t have enough insulin (or in the case of The Mrs. ANY insulin) your blood will turn to maple syrup, and you will become a zombie Canadian, and start to like hockey.  And eat brains.

No, I’m kidding.

Why I Owe The Canadians for The Mrs.

Without insulin you’ll die.  And that happened routinely before insulin was isolated in the early 1920’s.  By Canadians.

In October 1920, Canadian Frederick Banting concluded that . . . (it was Insulin). He jotted a note to himself: “Ligate pancreatic ducts of the dog. Keep dogs alive till acini degenerate leaving islets. Try to isolate internal secretion of these and relieve glycosurea.” – Via Wikipedia, kinda

No one knows what that means.

But Banting figured out how stop the hockey-loving zombies by illustriously isolating islet insulin in at totally tubular test tube.  And, thus 90 years later, allowing The Mrs. to not have maple syrup for blood.  Oh, and to live and stuff.  Even with the insulin, however, a Type I diabetic has to watch what and when they eat, so they don’t temporarily spike their blood sugar and turn zombie.

When The Mrs. was growing up, her parents sent her to “Diabetic Camp,” which is (by her description) a cross between hell and un-air conditioned hell where they have no candy.  Well, they have candy, but it’s made from coal-tar extract and pebbles instead of sugar.   They learned how to be diabetic.

Back to the Story

So, we made that left turn into the bakery in her home town, and bought a cookie.  As we walked out, she said, “My Mom figured out that I was buying cookies here during lunch when I was in Junior High after I became diabetic.  She said, ‘You’re digging your grave with your teeth, girl,’ and I always remembered that.”

Although The Mrs. has very good teeth, I could not imagine her getting to a standard six foot depth for a grave, even if she cheated a bit on standard width.

Then I realized it was a metaphor!

Fast forward to some other time in the future (in the last three years or so) when I heard my next metaphor.  The second in twenty years.

“You can’t outrun your teeth.”  This pithy observation indicates that I can eat a metric ton more than I can work off on any given day, especially since I have a desk job calculating the approximate number of electrons in William Shatner on a daily basis.  Not a lot of time to get away from the desk, since I have to keep calculating how many electrons he gains when he drinks more coffee.

“You can’t outrun your teeth.” Well, of course I can’t, they’re busy digging my grave.

And that’s what Karl Denninger says.

Karl makes several points as he writes (quite passionately) about health and how it intersects with the economy.  As we look to the way our health care system is gradually melting like the Wicked Witch of the North East covered in picante sauce, Denninger notes that getting healthy is smart, and also it removes you from the nonsense related with health care nowadays.  And Penn Gillette showed that there is a direct correlation between weight and life expectancy.

Diet, especially as you get older, is key. Atkins and Paleo are (for me) two good choices.

J.P. Sears has a fun take on Paleo.  He’s a bit cynical, but I still like Paleo.  Enjoy!

So, Atkins® and Paleo (Mark writes about it at his blog, here’s a great recent post) are based around changing not only the total amount of calories that you consume, but the types of calories.

For example, drinking a gallon of gasoline would provide you about 31,000 calories.  So, if you just drank a tenth of a gallon of gasoline each day, you’d never have to eat anything (DON’T DO THIS AT HOME OR ANYWHERE!  IT WILL NOT BE GOOD FOR YOU! GASOLINE IS NOT FOOD!).

But just like Justin Bieber can’t process a thought, your body cannot process gasoline.  At all.  IT WILL KILL YOU.  But when someone says a calorie is a calorie, they have no idea what they are talking about.

Let me explain:

To determine the number of calories that food has in it, they dry it, burn it, and see how much heat it gives off.  When you think about it, you would see that firewood would be awesome to eat!  But it’s not.  It does, however, make awesome toothpicks.  All energy content isn’t the same – your body has to be able to convert it to use, and some things are converted to energy more easily than others.  I’ve read in the past that the order of preference is something like this:

  1. Alcohol – because it’s what a body craves? Well, it gets used first.
  2. Sugar – like, well, a sugar high. No one is surprised.
  3. Other Carbohydrates – okay, you have to use enzymes and explosives to break the stuff up.
  4. Protein/Fat – depends on several factors which one gets used. It’s like The Mrs.
  5. Pebbles and Dryer Lint – mmm, mmm, good!

Paleo and Atkins remove part of number 1., most of number 2., and some of number 3.  That leaves your body (lots of times) burning at the number 4. level, which is where you want to be if you want to either lose weight or stay lean.

In my case, avoiding 2. and limiting 3. allow me to lose weight and also have a ton of other beneficial effects:

  1. I lose weight. I know I already mentioned this, but it’s just awesome.
  2. My mood is better. Nuclear war?    It’ll be fine.
  3. I still have number 1. Yay wine!

Honestly, I could not physically eat the order I listed (and, I’m sure at some point that was a real order I actually ate) anymore.  But I have teenagers . . . .

I guess I’m back to supporting 80% of the pre-tax profits of Taco Bell®.

So, do you have a strategy or system to keep lean?  Does it involve Scotch?

Oh, final thought – I AM NOT A DOCTOR!  EVERYONE CHANT – YES, HIS ADVICE (except for not drinking gasoline) IS HORRIBLE.

“Identity theft. Apparently he used to sit on his couch, hack high net worth accounts all over the world. Turned it into a collection of Hummers, helicopters, and, apparently, Freddie Mercury’s ashes.” – Prison Break

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Conquer the Crash of 2004?  You bet!  Rode it out with Mad Max.  You remember that, right?

If you only read one post I’ve ever written, read this one.

William Blake said, “Life can only be lived forwards, but understood in reverse.”

Stupid William Blake.

It started last January, but to tell the story I have to start on April 17 of this year.  Every year, tax day is on April 15.  Unless April 15 is on a Saturday, Sunday or Monday.  So, essentially tax day is tied to the calendar like Easter (only PhD’s in Astrophysics and the Cadbury Cream Egg® people can figure out when Easter is, and that was only after the advent of the digital computer).

Anyhow, not wanting to put things off until the last minute, I sat down on my computer 36 hours prior to my taxes being due (that’s at least 40 metric hours).

TurboTax® is like the person who holds your hair when you vomit.  It’s nice of them, but you’re still in horrible agony with a convulsing body with things going entirely the wrong direction.  That’s the way I feel about tax day, even if they send some of my money back to me.  I rationalize that it’s easy, and, heck, procrastinated to the point where I took a day off to do taxes.

I sat down with a hot cup of coffee, my trusty laptop, and proceeded to open all of those letters that showed up in January with “Important: Tax Information Enclosed” emblazoned in blood red on the envelope.  I soon had piles of income, deductions, stocks and toenail clippings arrayed in front of me next to the computer to begin entry into the government’s enabler (TurboTax©) and began entry.

Income was easy.  Had all of that.  Whoops?  Where are the interest statements on two accounts?  Pugsley brings the mail in most days.  On a windy day, Pugsley might have dropped it and those statements might have blown into Canada along with William Shatner’s toupee.

I called up my bank, “Yo, what gives?”  (Okay, I actually said, “Verily, what mayhap be uppith with my interest statements?”)

The response was, “Hmmmm, ohhh, okay, I see.  Those accounts are dormant.  You’ve done no transactions with them for 24 months.”

John Wilder:  “Can you undormant them?”

Nice Lady:  “Sure!”

John Wilder:  “Wow, does this happen often?”

Nice Lady:  “Yeah.  What’s really bad is that in some states if the account is dormant long enough, the state takes the money.  And there’s nothing you can do to get it back.”

John Wilder:  “Wow.”

Nice Lady:  “That’s a rough conversation.”

I completed my taxes, but this conversation stuck in my mind.  It seemed pretty wrong that this could happen to someone who was just, you know, saving their money and being all responsible.

So, on Friday after lunch, I called up my bank and began to request my account balances.

The nice lady (a different one this time) began rattling them off.  A year previously I had put them all in a spreadsheet (minus account numbers) and was comparing them:  “Yup, that’s right.  Yup.  Yup.  Yup.”

Nice Other Lady:  “And that’s it.”

I didn’t need to add them up.  There were the right number of accounts, and most of the amounts were the same.  But the amount on the biggest one wasn’t the same as the spreadsheet.  Not even close.

And it wasn’t more money.  It was smaller.  By a lot.

A lot.

A lot.

Over 10% of my net worth was missing.  More than my home value, plus all the cars I’ve bought in the last ten years.  Just gone.

You know that whole, “blood runs cold” thing?  It wasn’t running cold.  It was cryogenic (cryogenic comes from the Latin word “Cry” because your money is missing and “Genic” meaning this level of stupidity must be genetic).

I pretended calm.  Have you ever tried to pretend to have idle chit-chat with your boss while you think that even this second your bank accounts are draining faster than Amy Schumer chases a cheeseburger?

The next three hours and forty-one minutes at work were the equivalent of sixteen years of my life.  The drive home took another four years.  I now identify as being seventy-one.  I think I will list that on my Social Security application next year and argue that I am “age-fluid.”

As I drove home I prayed.  “Please oh please.”

Further, I deduced that there were three possibilities in the situation:

  1. Russian hackers had pilfered an account and were living high on the hog with their fat Bulgarian mistresses in some country where they use wrapping paper for money and eat dark bread and vodka all night.

(I have no idea if Bulgarians are fat, but I was not thinking good things about the potential hackers).  Now the family fortune isn’t watched over by a series of accountants I keep chained in the basement, it’s been because I’ve worked really hard – in some years nearly 4,000 hours a year (and gotten amazing results for my company lots of times).  As such, I have stacks of unopened bank statements I don’t read; I’m off at work.  I know I have enough money for most things I’d like to do (most of my wishes are small and involve T-shirts with funny sayings on them), and so, I skip opening them.

Sadly for me, most banks will only allow you to fix hanky-panky if you let them know in sixty days.  I’m not sure I’d opened even statement during that time period.

My blood ran colder.  This was the worst possibility.

 

  1. Whatever state my bank was located in had confiscated my money and had bought themselves hot tubs for their tax accountants and a new snow plow.

This was marginally better.  My accounts had just gone dormant, and I could make a good case that they were big poopy heads and give me my money back, meanie.  The legal term for this is Prima Whinius.  And maybe they could take the plow back.

 

This was a better possibility for me.

 

  1. I had made a mistake about how much money I had.

This was a pretty remote possibility.

The amount that was missing was a pretty big one, one I’m sure I hadn’t imagined, and one that the Other Nice Lady had NOT mentioned.  I distinctly remembered going through the statements, account by account, and adding them up a year previously.  And it was the biggest account, by far.  It’s like playing hide and seek with Al Roker’s former pants.  If you can’t see them, you’re just not looking.

In a strange way, I was hoping it was this, because then I could pretend I wasn’t as stupid as in either point one or two above.

I finally got into the driveway.  The Mrs. was (thankfully) gone to drop The Boy and Pugsley off at a Junior Wine Tasting Festival, while I tore into the house like a poodle chasing a pork chop on a stick.

I ran downstairs to the vault where I keep the gold coins I swim in and my financial statements.  (It’s actually a closet filled with tents, sleeping bags, and plastic bins of my cable bills from 1897.

I reached in, and pulled out  . . . the golden ticket – the first statement I found was for the account.  I ripped it open and looked at the balance.

It was the big number I was expecting.  It was from less than six months ago.

I ran upstairs, and dialed the bank.  I read the account number off, and asked for a balance.

Nice Lady Three:  “Well, John Wilder . . . ” and it was the same number from earlier in the day.

“Is there any problem, sir?”

“Yes,” I croaked into the phone, stress filling my voice, “I’m missing more than 10% of my entire net worth out of this account!”

“Sir, are you sure?”

I looked at the statement again.  I looked at the second page.  It showed a different number.

A much smaller number.

One that matched what she said.  And it had the right account number next to it.

Crap.

It turns out the statement aggregated three accounts.  Two of the accounts showed up on other statements that I also got monthly in other, separate envelopes.  Wow.  I’d double counted a house and a Corvette™.

Dangit.

I then recalled that moment a year ago when I’d added up my accounts, and found, happily, that I had a house and a Corvette® more than I’d expected.  Yay!  Strangely, my emotions then hadn’t included panic or hyperventilation.

The Mrs. returned home, and I outlined the situation.  To her?  No big deal.  It’s my job to watch the money and to make sure we have enough money to buy Pez©, pantyhose, and elephant rides.  I watch our net worth, and The Mrs. watches Mystery Science Theater 3000.

My Lessons and Takeaways:

  1. Check your Statements.

Money isn’t actually real, so if the Russians take yours, and you let the bank know about it within sixty days?  They’ll make some more for you, or at least that’s what the Internet thinks.  I don’t online bank or use ATMs, so those aren’t danger points for me.  But the more you expose yourself to those that love Bulgaria, the riskier it is.

  1. Check your Statements.

And actually math them.  Make sure that everything looks good monthly.  I’d call your bank every other month.  Actually, I’m volunteering.  Send me your banking information and Social Security Number.  I’ll check for you for free!  (HINT:  THIS SOUNDS SUSPICIOUS BECAUSE IT IS – I CHARGE A FEE)

  1. Periodically Stir Your Money.

That will prevent the state from thinking it’s dormant and stealing it.  It will also prevent your money from sticking to the sides and bottoms of the pot as you cook it.

I am probably now old enough to adult more, so I probably should adult.  I should probably figure out a way to invest it so it returns money to me, instead of just the bank.  I know, this is a crazy idea.

  1. Outside of How Much You Spend and How Long You Are Retired, Money at the Margin is the Most Important in Retirement

When I re-ran retirement scenarios?  Yeah, I’m gonna need to work longer or adopt Justin Bieber.  Okay, I’ll work longer.

In the end, the biggest take away of the Wilder Financial Catastrophe That Really Wasn’t of 2017®?

I haven’t changed, and I’m the same John Wilder the day before and the day after, and a bank error in my favor won’t hurt me.  And, as I continued to open statements?  I found half a Corvette® to add back to my net worth.  Yay!

I lost something I never had, but now you have an awesome blog post.  Tell six friends or I’ll tell the Russians where you live.  On tax day.

Now you understand what an evil genius Blake was.  Lived it forward, understand it now.

You should watch this, it’s how I felt.  It has four instances of cussing, but it would be PG-13.  Honestly? I cussed a lot, too.

Short speech. You lost your partner today. The DEA took all your money, your lab. You got nothing. Square one. But you know the business and I know the chemistry. I’m thinking maybe you and I could partner up. – Walt, Breaking Bad

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That’s what happens if you don’t take risks.  Also if you do take risks.

If someone were to ask me, “How do you ruin your life?” I would have to think a long time about that – most all of my life has been pretty awesome.  I’ve still got all of my hair, I can fit into my high school jeans, and I have never had a moment of sorrow.

Okay, that’s a lie – what do I look like, a Trump kid?

I’ve had my share of issues, and, from a follicular standpoint, well, NASA requires me to wear a hat so the reflecting sunlight doesn’t blind the astronauts in the International Space Station and cause them to steer it into Britney Spears.  My high school clothes are far behind me.  And sorrow?  Sure, I’ve had a few moments.

Perhaps the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is a variation on Nietzsche, “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.”  And it’s true.  I’ve actually found that at the core of each of the worst moments in my life was embedded the seeds of the best moments.  It took me a few times to realize, that the rough moments were the poo which fertilized the awesome moments to come.

Perhaps on a deeper note – as I’ve said before – this moment in time, I’m fine.  The past is gone, so there’s no use to complain about things that you can’t change.  The future isn’t yet here, so getting upset about it is silly.  Right now in time, I’m working on this blog, watching silly TV with the family, having a nice glass of wine, and, regardless of what happened five years ago, five days ago, or five minutes ago, life is good.  And the future?  Yeah, I’ll die.  But I own how I feel until that happens.

So, when you look at the quality of life you have, you get to choose.  And you can choose to be happy, or not.  And you ca also choose to ruin your life if you want to.  J.P. Sears is the brains behind Ultra-Spiritual Life, a series of YouTube videos that parody movements, situations, and are generally a pretty fun series to watch.

In the YouTube box below, J.P. talks about “Ways to Ruin Your Life.”  It looks like it predates his current series, but it’s still pretty funny (and pretty short).  I’ll give you my take on how I rank against his criteria.

  1. Never Take Risks

This is one where I’d rate myself a 7 or so.  I’ve made multiple major life decisions that had some form of risk attached to them.  I’ve not jumped out of a moving plane, but I have moved my family halfway across the North American Continent and then back again.  Those risks turned out to be some of the best choices that ever happened to us.  Looking back (so far) I can’t seem to find any particular risk that I didn’t take that fills me with regret, and at each turn, it looks like I took an okay path.  Private jet?  No.  WilderNetWorth©?  Yeah.

So, why 7 out of 10?  It’s 7 out of 10 because I’ve seen people like Jeff Bezos take even bigger risks and create even greater value than I have over time.  Part of this might be just survivor bias.  You see the survivor, the guy who took the big risks and made out like a bandit, but you don’t see the guy who’s working in McDonalds™ because his dotcom company almost made it.  I see Mr. Bezos’ success and don’t see all the exploded failures along the way, like the guy who invented TinderTwit, or UberOogle.

Also, really successful people tend to take risks, but the risk ratios are very skewed – they get a great deal of return with the probability of a small loss.

  1. Seek the Approval of Others

I have sought the approval of, oh, my supervisors in the company that pays my salary, because I have found that not doing so has pretty negative implications.  But I don’t fawn on them, and when it comes to a point of principle or fact, I am fairly dogged and determined.

Personally, I have found that not caring about the approval of your supervisor is career limiting.

One time I had the fortune to be in a training class being (partially) taught by the CEO of our company.  He’s worth billions, and I had a chance to talk to him one on one.  I was thrilled!

 

I had a problem I was working with – some folks in his company wanted to spend money that wouldn’t be a good idea – it would lose money for the company.  I told him it was politically difficult to fight these folks.  He told me, “John Wilder, it’s not kindergarten.  You have to fight to create value in the company.”  Armed with his advice, I saved him about four million dollars, but angered half of the people that were in favor of the project, who were all corporate VPs.  Oh, and I wasn’t.

Seeking their approval *might* have been a better idea.

  1. Talk, but Take No Action

Okay, I might be a 3/10 here.  I’ve had so many plans for doing things that I hadn’t followed up on.  Most of those, however, were because I couldn’t get the people together, the money together, or on the cold light of day it turned out to be a stupid idea.

My initial assessment of the iPhone was that it was silly to try to combine all of those features in one place, kind of like adding a clock radio to a toaster to an electronic toothbrush.  My bad, but it also shows that sometimes my initial vision might be off a bit.

This may tie back to risk, but, honestly, 99% of all ideas are bad, even my ideas (some of my ideas are awesome), but really, did the world need The Clapper©?

In general, I’ve gotten more failure from being bold, but those failures have been small, or my ego absorbed them.  True story:

9th Grade John Wilder, Calling Girl to Ask For Date:   Would you like to go to a movie with me?

Not the Future The Mrs.:  No, I can’t.  I’m busy that night.

I had not specified when I would take her to the movie.

  1. Value Things, Use People

I don’t think I’m probably okay here, 6/10 or 7/10.  In the end, one of my basic philosophical points is that people are important, probably even more important if you’re their supervisor – that’s a real responsibility.

Now, I never said I was nice.  But being nice isn’t always how you help people.  Let me explain:

I was in college, and was listening to a speech.  In a twist of sadism, teachers about then decided that the way to grade a speech was peer review.  I attempted to listen to the speech but it was difficult – the presentation was really bad.  When it was my turn, I said to her:

“During our speech, you said ‘um’ 14.3 times per minute, with an approximate total of 753 ‘um’s’ during your speech.  It was distracting.”

If you have never seen a look of hate, imagine Hillary Clinton after they told her that Monica Lewinski just defeated her in the presidential election.

It was pretty bad.

Next speech?  Flawless.  I said so in my evaluation.  Best speech of the day.

She didn’t smile.  To this day, I think if she could poison me and not get caught? She’d do it.

  1. Conceal Emotions

I’m probably a bit worse here, say 3/10 – I’m a bit of a poker face when it comes to most things.  I don’t do that so much with The Mrs., but that’s because she’s The Mrs.

At one job where the company was in trouble, I was told I was too cheerful.  I was told I should be sadder.

I share the emotions I wish to share – those are mine.

  1. Be Normal

I’m excellent at being abnormal.  That’s why you’re reading this.  8/10.

  1. Keep Secrets

2/10. If you tell me a secret, I’m pretty awesome at keeping it.  My own?  I’m okay with that, too.

  1. Never Work Hard

9/10.  Throughout my career I’ve worked very hard indeed, with some years putting in well over 3,000 hours for the company.  I’ve even tried to work smart while I work hard.  The major issue that I have is (sometimes) I make it look easy because of the poker face.

If you have a great boss, and you’re in a great situation, life is good.  You can do it!

If you have a meh boss (that will sink you for a dollar) and the job is rough, you might want to think about point nine (below).

  1. Ignore Intuition

I’ve followed my intuition fairly well – and it has been, for the most part, spot on.  I’d give me an 8/10.  Down side of following your intuition is that if it didn’t bathe, it can be all stinky being behind it.

  1. Avoid Personal Responsibility

If this were my list, it would be number one and at the top.  I have found that I am greatly compatible with most personality types.  There are two types that I cannot mesh well with:  Clowns (specifically the ones that dress like hoboes) and people who don’t take responsibility for their lives.  I call them:  victims.

Don’t get me started on victims.  Everything is always the fault of someone else, and if you listen long enough, it’s like they don’t even take any part in their day to day lives.

Here’s J.P. talking about the points above.  He’s awesome.

 

So, in the end, it’s your life, and you get to choose how you live your life and how you choose to view it.  But don’t ask me how your speech is if you don’t want to know the truth.

 

“I feel a cold coming on, and I’m wondering, should I take vitamin C or should I just leave Seattle?” – Caller, Frasier

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He vants to drink your blaaad, but only if enriched with yummy vitamin C!

There was the time I almost killed myself through a simple experiment.

I had heard that having a high pH body (basic) was better than having a low pH body (acidic).  I decided to test this to see how it would work out.  Rather than do (as a normal person would) research, I decided to jump right in and purchased some antacid.

I took the antacid.

Going back to basic high school chemistry, what do you get when you mix an acid and a base?  Water and a salt.

I know that they say salt is fine for you.  It certainly is, when you haven’t just ingested something like three cups of it.  My body swelled up, and I’m fairly certain my blood pressure was sufficient to keep blood flowing from the tip of my toes to the top of my head if I were standing on a neutron star.

Wilder Fact:  Neutron Stars are very, very dense.  Not stupid dense as in “she’s so dense,” but heavy-dense.  A neutron star has a density of 7×1014 g/cm3.  Water has a density of 1 g/cm3, which shows you just how stupid the metric system is, since all I know is only that a neutron star is really, really heavy.  If I stood on one, I would be a tiny, thin, puddle of Wilder.  But if I took enough antacid, I could keep my blood flowing!

The Mrs. shook her head.  Life with me is like that, one large experiment.  She notes, correctly, that the difference between science and messing around is writing stuff down.  What do you think I’m doing now?  Yes, I’m writing it down.  Hence, science!

Anyway, I resolved to do many fewer potentially stroke-causing experiments with my life.

One thing that has recently caught my attention is vitamin C.  Vitamin C is, of course, the reason that the British are called Limeys.  The British Navy, enduring long sea voyages, would come down with scurvy based upon their diets consisting solely of rats and rum (I may be making some of this up).  Scurvy is not fun.  Gums bleed.  People die.  In fact, over 300,000 sailors (I am not making that up) died of scurvy in the 1700s.  1,500 sailros died in combat.  Maybe that’s why they drank the rum?

Some enterprising Scottish British Navy Surgeon decided that the cure would be switching from rum to Scotch.  He was fired, but James Lind, another (and real this time) Scottish British Navy Surgeon got 12 men to come down with scurvy on purpose, and gave two of them citrus fruits.  They got better, and also proved that the British diet will kill you more often than a Frenchman will.

After this, the British Navy supplied its sailors with citrus fruit (seeing as this was a much better alternative to them being all dead), and therefore kept their navy at float for years at a time, and allowed Admiral Nelson (more posts on him in the future) to keep the French navy in port.  So, yes, science works.

But Lind was dead for decades before they put his cure into motion.

What’s the deal with vitamin C?

Every animal produces it, except for gorillas, fruit bats, guinea pigs, and . . . (drumroll) humans.  And most animals make more vitamin C per pound than the recommended daily allowance, by far.

Linus Pauling, somewhere around winning his second unshared Nobel Prize©, came to the conclusion that vitamin C was the solution to most of our health problems.  Whereas the FDA thinks you need a tiny wisp of vitamin C, Linus felt that you could treat vitamin C like a sorority girl treats Diet Coke©.  Eat it all the time.  Inject it in your nose.  Have a bath in it.  Put it in your gas tank.  Wait . . . DON’T put it in your gas tank.  Think of the fuel injectors, man!

But, in Pauling’s thought, we people certainly weren’t getting enough.

Pauling’s first thesis is that vitamin C is used in the creation of the stuff that keeps your blood vessels together – collagen.  He thought that cholesterol deposits were the body’s way of putting duct tape on the inside of you so you didn’t bleed internally.  A better solution would be to make the stuff that actually fixes your circulatory system available to actually fix it.

It also appears that you can take a truly amazing amount of vitamin C and not die.

“The mechanism of death from such doses (1.2% of body weight, or 0.84 kg for a 70 kg human) is unknown, but may be more mechanical than chemical.”  – Wikipedia

Another way to think of that would be to have Wile E. Coyote drop an anvil made of vitamin C on the Roadrunner.  But, in this case, it’s radioactive vitamin C, so the Roadrunner turns into SpiderHulkRoadrunner.  Big, and green, and all spider-like, it’s probably more dangerous than a 300 mile tall Bill Gates!

Okay, that’s probably not true, I’m still more afraid of the giant Bill Gates.  But it does show that it takes eating nearly two pounds of vitamin C at a single sitting to kill you.  But no one knows why, but they think it might occur based on damage done to you while forcing it down your throat.  Strangely, sometimes science begins to look like a Quentin Tarantino picture.

The Mrs. and I came to our current experiments with vitamin C through different channels.  She was listening to quacks on the radio, I was listening to quacks on the Internet (specifically a trial that show that vitamin C in conjunction with chemotherapy was very effective against cancer).

Her radio quacks said to take one gram for every 25 pounds of body weight.  My Internet quacks said take vitamin C somewhere between 6 grams a day and 18 grams a day.  18 grams a day is a LOT of vitamin C, but, unless someone is tamping it down my throat with a broom handle, Science says it probably won’t hurt me.

I have seen, again and again, the scientific establishment change cues and opinions on fundamental ideas in my lifetime.  Carbs?  Great!  Carbs?  Tool of Satan.  Carbs?  Great!  Carbs?  Probably not good for you.

John Belushi knew.  Cigarettes and Carbs in the year 2132 will be all the rage.

And it continues.  Eggs?  Great!  Eggs?  YOU WILL DIE IF YOU LOOK AT THEM.  Eggs?  Have a dozen.

It’s enough to make you crazy.

And that’s why I began to focus on vitamin C.  At least from everything I’ve read, it can’t hurt you.  And it might help you.  After dealing with a doctor, Pauling added lysine to his recommendations.  Oh, and the doctor was dying.  Here’s a link that discusses it.  Blah blah blah heart, blah blah blah not dying.

 

But Pauling died of cancer.  So doesn’t that make him a stupid poopy-head with two Nobel™ prizes?  (And he nearly beat Watson and Crick to the double helix shape of DNA, which would have bagged him a third.)

Pauling died of prostate cancer, which, statistically, every man who lives past 70 will get.  And he was in his 90’s.  He’s smarter than me with my single Nobel© prize for blogging.   What can listening to him hurt?

So, now, I’m taking vitamin C.  In much more than the recommended daily alliance.  And, since The Mrs. isn’t tamping it down my throat with a broom handle, it probably won’t kill me.

And, vitamin C is cheap.  And I’m cheap, so that works.

I’ll let you know how it works out after I get my next Nobel® prize.  In the mean time?  I’m avoiding antacid.

As can be shown in the story above, I am a horrible choice to emulate for health advice.  Talk to a real doctor.   

Everybody has three mortgages nowadays, – Venkman, Ghostbusters

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By Michael Adams (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This is Sedan, Kansas on a high traffic day.  Some protesters closed the road down once, but nobody noticed.

I restarted blogging after being inspired by a post on Financial Samurai (thanks, Sam!) – I had blogged for about five years two to three times a week before putting the blog on a pause that lasted most of Joe Biden’s term as vice president.  I’m sad that I missed the opportunity to Biden-ize the blog.

I stopped primarily because work was fairly consuming, but also because I had run out of things to say, and you know that I would rather eat a squirming kitten whole than produce work that was shoddy and substandard. What do I look like, Johnny Depp?  (That was metaphorical – Johnny Depp often looks like he’s been fighting in an alley for a can of Sterno®.  I only occasionally look like that.)

When I lived in Alaska, blogging was a good way to view a new location through new eyes – I learned about Alaska, and told my readers about it, too.  Our move to Houston represented for me our Beverly Hillbillies© moment – people who belong in Alaska attempting to get by in a very hot, very big city.  True story:  It was so hot in Houston that I often was sweating.

Then we packed up and moved to Northeast Midwestia, and, well, I’d lived in small towns, so it wasn’t nearly as unique to me.  Also, The Boy and Pugsley had reached the ages where we were doing stuff with them three and five nights a week.  By the time I got home, I was fairly tired, the job was engrossing but also very, very time consuming.  Again, I’m not going to give you junky posts.  Do I have to bring Johnny Depp back into this?

The change (for me) came when, in the middle of moving responsibilities for what I do at work that I came across this post at Financial Samurai.  The post had gone was viral because people were gnashing their teeth at the temerity of the thought that people who made $500,000 a year might be just “getting by.”

But if you go through the post, you can see that the logic and reasoning is sound.  You can earn that kind of money in New York or Chicago, or L.A. and life is stressful.  $500,000 doesn’t even buy a used legal paper box in San Francisco.  The median home price in San Francisco (not a home in a median, the mathematical median, where 50% of the houses are above, and 50% are below) is $1,300,000.  And you can get a lovely 844 square foot (that’s two cubic megaparsecs in metric) for that.  Dr. Housing Bubble describes one here.

I was scratching my head, and thought, hey, there must some way to piggy back off of Financial Samurai’s success relate the costs to the coastal folks of what life is like in the hinterlands.  I threw a dart, and . . . . Sedan, Kansas showed up.

I would imagine that some people in Sedan drive sedans, but that’s not how it got its name.  Sedan, Kansas (founded in 1871) was named after the Battle of Sedan (September, 1870) which occurred during the Franco-Prussian War.  The Prussians crushed the French 43-12, and most of the French points were scored during the fourth quarter after Kaiser Wilhelm had already gotten a Gatorade™ dunk.

Why was this so big for the people who named the town Sedan?  I have no idea.  Maybe they just hate the French there?

Anyhow, Sedan, Kansas has a much greater continuity of government than Germany or France, and is a sleepy little town that has a high school and a marching band, and a hospital and a Pizza Hut©.

And that’s where you come in, because you, dear reader, could live large in Sedan.

Let’s look:

Let’s create a family of four, but a two income family

The husband is a teacher.  I’m pretty sure that a teacher there makes more than $25,000, but let’s go with that for now.

There’s a rural hospital there, too.  And the wife is a nurse.  Let’s say that she makes $25,000, too.

Both of their retirement is through the state, so I’ll not mess up the calculations with a 401k.  They could save more.

Salary
Base Wages  $        50,000
Federal Tax  $          1,756
State Tax  $              970
Net  $        47,274

Kansas taxes, and taxes on incomes of an intact family of four are a pretty good rate.  I used TurboTax© to calculate this, so any errors are mine.  TurboTax® required that I put in names for the family, so I used Bob, Bob2 (his wife), Bob3, and Bob4.

Child Care

Bob and Bob2 don’t pay much in child care.  Child care doesn’t cost much in Sedan (possibly due to the Franco-German war?) and Bob is a teacher – he just needs some in-service days covered.  It’s possible that Bob2 could take a day off from the hospital and turn this down to zero, but I’ve tossed in a completely defensible $1800.  It would probably be less.

Food

Again, one of the advantages of Sedan might be viewed as a disadvantage to the uninitiated – Sedan has few restaurants.  I’m not sure how good any of them are, and at $11,600, a year, I think the family could eat very well, indeed.

Mortgage

This is my favorite.  I went to Realtor©.com and found a 2000 square foot house for sale for $84,000.  Yeah.  It’s silly low.  Now if you were going to try to move, you could probably bet that house would sit on the market for a year or more.  But since you bought it for less than a carport (no land) costs in San Francisco, you might be okay.  I tossed in some guesses for insurance and taxes.

Home Maintenance

Can Bob fix it?  Yes, he can.  $1,100 probably takes care of most of the honey-do list.

Vacations

$400.  Go camping.  Or go visit Grandma Bob in Branson and stay at her place.

Cars and Gas and Insurance and Taxes

Bob owns his cheap cars.  He hardly drives at all, being in town, so gas is cheap, too.  And cheap cars=cheap insurance and taxes.

Clothes

Bob2 is a bit of a shoe-hound, so I tossed $4800 in.  Plus Bob3 is growing like a weed!

Sports/Lessons

Small town – Aunt Bob teaches piano for $5 a lesson.  Flag football is $10 for the season.

Guaranteed Student Loans

Teaching in a small town Bob qualifies for whatever super secret handout they give to teachers.  Probably Bob2, as well.  I put down $200 a month.

Unexpected

$5,000.  What for?  Who can say?  If I knew it would be expected, goof.

Expenses
Childcare (2)  $          1,800
Food  $        10,400
Dinner out  $          1,200
Mortgage  $          7,800
Home Maint.  $          1,100
Vacations  $              400
Car  $          1,440
Gas  $              600
Car Insurance  $              600
Clothes  $          4,800
Sports/etc.  $              480
Student Loans  $          2,400
Unexpected  $          5,000
Total Costs  $        38,020

So, I subtract the costs from the income?

What’s Left?  $          9,254

That’s more than power couple in New York in the original post, who only saved $7,300 a year.

What amazes me, especially after living in a big city, is why they don’t sell their overpriced homes, buy a much bigger house, and live like royalty out in the boonies.  One house in Sedan is for sale now (April, 2017) and it is 3,400 square feet on 41 acres.  But it costs the whopping sum of $345,000.  How much would that house (in a safe free public school district) cost in New York?  It’s like a unicorn, or a balanced federal budget – it simply does not exist.  Did I mention the 41 acres has its own lake?

Many people live in these economic centers work really, really hard, but they end up being poor their whole lives, because:

“We buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like.”

-Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

I read a great quote (and I can’t remember where it came from) that went like this:

“If you have to ask how much money you need to retire, you’re asking the wrong question.”  And it’s true – it’s not only what you have, it’s also what you spend, and what you think you simply must have.  I’ve heard of happy people in their 40’s retiring with $400,000 and thriving.  And people who retired at 65 with $5,000,000 ending up unhappy and broke.  Understand that the biggest part of this is you.  It’s not what you have, it’s what you think you need.

So, I’m back blogging, and am really sad that I missed being able to make fun of Biden.  Ohhhh, perhaps he’d eat a kitten?  Or fight Johnny Depp?

Now, every Wednesday I must remind you that I’m not a financial professional, and taking my advice might just be the most foolish thing you ever did, besides the time you burned your eyebrows off.

In the future some blog posts might be sponsored, and, again, in the future (past April, 2017), I might get paid for some of the links (I’ll tell you if so) but my advice will be like a professional psychic – for entertainment only.

Your wife’s virtue shall remain as untouched as Bill Gates’ weight room. – The Simpsons

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The Scorpions have scale, and can rock you like a hurricane.

I was sitting on the deck, enjoying an evening at Stately Wilder Manor, while discussing the future and types of careers that are available with a Wilder-in-law.  One thing that we started talking about were career paths and luck.  I thought I’d share something our conversation inspired.

There are about a million bits of career advice we’ll talk about in future posts, but this is WilderWeeklyWisdom®, so we’ll be a bit more philosophical than that.

One of the better books I’ve ever read is “The Black Swan” by Nicholas Nassim Taleb (his site is here). Taleb does an awesome job of relating probability to the way we view the world.  He does so in a brash and insightful manner that’s sold millions of books.  He’s almost as good as me.  I’m going to borrow one of his core concepts to share with you, because it’s just so darn different of a way to look at how our modern world works.

Black_Swan_poster

Not this Black Swan.

Most things that humans experience are nice and linear.  You start at point A and go to point B, and they follow nice 1+1=2 level math.  Simple.  When we lived in tribes of 30-170 and before we combined to create nations of any kind our life was simple and these linear models worked well to explain life. We lived and died seeing things that were almost all explainable by these simple relationships.  And it all made sense, or at least as much sense as it could before The Drudge Report™.

Let’s pretend we’re members of a 99 person tribe.  And it’s the most average of average tribes, so our tribal average height is 5’9” tall (that’s the average height of adult dudes in the USA).  If our tribe suddenly had the tallest person of all of the over 7,000,000,000 that are living in the world today join it, we might start seriously thinking about Olympic© basketball, since the tallest person in the world is 8’3” in height and we could certainly beat Moldova.

But what would the net impact be to our average tribal height?  We’d be 0.3” taller.  That’s the equivalent of wearing thick wool socks taller.  Hardly noticeable.

That’s linear/bell curve thinking – the way that the normal distribution works.  In my best condition ever, I think I could have run 100M in 13 or so seconds.  Usain Bolt ran it in 9.58 seconds.  I’m above average, but Usain is far, far to the right side of the curve.  He’d win every time, but he still “only” beats me by 3.5 seconds, it’s not like I finish the next day.

Normal_distribution_and_scales_tr

Source: Wikimedia Commons – They also had it in English, but you weren’t going to read that, either.

So, things that are physical parameters we deal with every day – how tall, how fast, how smart, how skinny, et cetera, are all ruled by the mathematics of the normal curve.

But civilization has given us an enormous change in the way the world works.  Let’s look at the wealth of, say, Bill Gates.  If we kick out the tall guy (he was horrible under the rim) we have room to adopt Bill into our tribe.  Remember, our tribe of 99 is average, so we have an average (per Credit Suisse, via Financial Samurai) net worth of $301,000 (their estimate for the average net worth in the USA).  We adopt Bill who has a net worth of $84,000,000,000.  Our average net worth just went to $840,300,000 per person.  That’s a massive difference when compared to the property of height.  The changes in wealth are not normally distributed, and are scaled so differently that it’s hard for us to wrap our brains around this massive difference in quantities.

I’ve prepared an example to assist.  Let’s go back to our height comparison.  Bill Gates is 279,069.8 times wealthier than the average person in the USA.  Let’s just say that we used that same factor with something like, say, height?

Bill Gates would be 303.9 miles tall.

How about weight?

The average weight for dudes in the USA is 183 pounds.  Bill Gates would be 25,534 tons.

So, now I’ve created a gigantic Bill Gates that is certainly going to menace us like Godzilla.  Fortunately, at 303.9 miles tall, Bill’s head is over 295 miles above marginally breathable atmosphere, so he wouldn’t be able to menace us very long.  Until he fell after he died.

Assuming no terminal velocity constraints due to atmospheric friction, Bill’s enormous head would hit the ground at 6,886 miles an hour.  Ouch!  Goodnight Seattle!

Thankfully, we don’t have to contend with a gigantic Bill Gates.  We are stuck with the 5’10” version.

Taleb calls the wealth effect a scalable quantity, and it surrounds us.  If I were to restart my career today I would try to expose myself to scalable quantities whenever possible – it’s these scaled effects that generate the greatest amounts of wealth.

The flip side is that scaled opportunities have been and will force massive dislocation in the labor markets.  Once upon a time, every little town had a brass band, and singers, too.  The phonograph took the need for many of these local bands away – and even more so the singers.  I could pick up an album and listen to the best singers in the world.  The record companies made vast sums of wealth from the change in scale afforded by technology.  Then?  CDs, Napster, and right now I’m listening to songs (for more or less free) off of Youtube.com.  On Amazon, I have a subscription to essentially any song I can think of with the exception I cannot find the album “Stand Tall” by the Killer Dwarves, and yes, it’s a real album.  The internet is killing the record company.

Scale has done that to local disc jockeys and radio talk show hosts – now they’re national, we only listen to the best.  Scale will probably do that to the entire radio industry within a decade.  I get up in the morning and listen to radio stations in Houston or Fairbanks.  My local radio station is, for me, irrelevant.

Scale will probably eliminate all but the best teachers, too.  We’ll have great “rock star” level teachers and on-site facilitators will help kids learn in class.  That’s coming quickly.  Scale has already done that to sports – fractional differences in performance are worth tens of millions of dollars in contract revenue for players.

In all of these cases, there is going to be massive profit made for those that execute well on the scalable strategies, just like there was for our 303.9 mile tall Bill Gates, who has made money by destroying industry after industry – from typewriters to libraries, and not by stomping on them physically.

Artificial Intelligence will also impact the lives of millions (and make others billions).  There are 3.5 million truckers.  How many truck stop employees depend upon them?  At least a million more.  If I have a self-driving truck, now I eliminate most issues with driving hours, rest periods and legal liability.  I also put at least 2.5 million of the truckers out of business.  This is more scaled disruption that is possible in a decade or less.

So, back to my career advice to the Wilder-in-law?  Become a dentist.  Robots aren’t good at drilling teeth, and probably won’t be for fifty years, and I’m thinking we won’t accept the Terminator® with a drill in our mouths, until forced to by our orbiting Emperor Gates the Gigantic.

All hail our new titanic overlord!

“All I’m saying is if you want to be on a diet, you might want to stop hanging out by the dessert cart.” – 13, House, M.D.

20150609_165158

Recently, I’ve had some pretty good success with losing weight.  Sadly it has involved amputation.

Just kidding.  I’ve been losing weight due to what I eat.  Or, more accurately, what I don’t eat.

I’ll start my (average) weekly diet that I’ve been following for a while with my favorite day:

Friday

Friday Breakfast Menu:  All the coffee I want! (no cream, no sugar)

Friday Brunch Menu:  More coffee!  (no cream, no sugar)

Friday After Lunch Workout Meal:  Coffee. (no cream, no sugar . . . seeing a pattern here?)

Friday Late Tea:  Coffee.  (again)

Friday Dinner:  Friday night we normally go out.  That’s when the fun begins.  Habitually, I make the glamorous switch to iced tea (unsweetened).  While this may sound daring, it’s nowhere near as daring as . . . the appetizers.  Generally we have something fairly low carb, like calamari.  Mmmmm.  I’ll have a salad, a low carb vegetable like broccoli, and then a huge ribeye.  The Mrs. and I will share some wine with dinner, and generally a little more when we get home.

Saturday

Saturday Breakfast:  Mmmm, coffee!  But this time fresh ground good stuff.

Saturday Lunch:  Varies from nothing (50% of the time) to a low carb whatever.

Saturday Dinner:  This varies as well.

We have what is known as Gourmet Night.

The Mrs. and I were fans of the television series Hannibal.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show (which is most of you since ABC summarily cancelled their best show ever), it follows the career of Hannibal Lecter, a serial killer and cannibal.  It’s a great family show.

The show is particularly good at showing Dr. Lecter making dinner.  And in the scenes in the show where he’s in the kitchen with the food processor and a cut of meat, well, it is a show about cannibals.  You can’t help but wonder exactly what (or who) Dr. Lecter is having for dinner.

The scenes on the show, however, are shot in such a vivid, crisp and cinematic way and the food looks so wonderful on screen that it inspired The Mrs.

Since we have been having Gourmet Night, she’s made intricate dishes like Beef Wellington, Beef Bourguignon, and, last Saturday, it was ribeye covered in a cream mushroom sauce.  Oh, and a nice Chianti and some fava beans.

The Mrs. isn’t alone in her culinary inspiration from that show:  Hannibal inspired a cookbook.

I must state that no neighbors have been harmed in the making of any dish at Wilder Gourmet Night.

If Friends and Hannibal had an ugly baby, it would look like this.

Sunday

Breakfast: Coffee.

Lunch: Coffee.  Sometimes eggs and a breakfast meat, like smoked alpaca.

Dinner:  Something from the grill – steaks, burgers, brats, chicken, ribs, brisket.  The big Atkins cheat of the week is generally here – grilling and BBQ go with ice cold beer.  Hey, I don’t make the rules.  Mojo does:

Monday

You know the drill before dinner.  Coffee.

Dinner:  Either leftover BBQ meat, or, more generally, a salad.  Like a lettuce salad.  Some ranch or, more recently, lots of hot sauce and a little ranch.  Perhaps some torn up sandwich sliced chicken.  All the carbonated water I can drink.

During the weeknights there isn’t any alcohol.  As Mark Twain said,

Willpower lasts about two weeks, and is soluble in alcohol.

But he didn’t live to be even 150 years old, so what does he know?

Tuesday

Coffee.  Again.  I bathe in it.  I put it in my armpits for deodorant.  I rub it in my hair for conditioning.  I place it on my face for moisturizer.  I use coffee grounds to brush my teeth.

Dinner:  Salad (as above) and/or an Oscar Mayer® Portable Protein Pack.  I know, I know, they are horribly expensive for the amount of calories you get in the Portable Protein Pack – but part of what I’m paying for is willpower.  I had one.  I can say “Stop” that’s enough.

Sure, I could make my own, dice some ham and cheese, but the pre-packaging is just enough to say, “You’re done here, John Wilder.”

Am I hungry, especially during the week?  Sure.  But I’m surprised sometimes at just how full the two ounces (that’s sixty-five kilograms) of the Portable Protein Pack will fill you up.

Also, all the carbonated water that I want.

Wednesday

See Tuesday.

Thursday

See Wednesday.

You might think that on a diet like this, I’d be hungry occasionally.  No, not at all.

I’m hungry ALL THE TIME.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  I’m rarely hungry after a nice ribeye.  And coffee is much more filling than you might expect and also has the good side effect of doubling as my personality.  Also, your stomach shrinks, and it takes much less food to satiate (JohnWilder® Certified ACT Word) your hunger with a smaller stomach.

As far as skipping meals?

Starting in sixth grade, when they stopped making me eat lunch at school, I stopped eating it.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?  Never been all that interested in eating breakfast on a regular basis.

And, when I do eat breakfast or lunch, I don’t get less hungry during the course of the day, I get even more hungry and my hunger at dinner is even larger.  And, when I’ve had to work long (12-14 hour days) for a long duration (weeks), and they bring in lunch every day?  I’ve eaten lunch for the energy burst.  And, also the pants waist size increase, because who doesn’t want to gain weight.  I mean, they make bigger pants, right?

My mathematical formula relating lunch to weight loss looks like this:

  • Lunch once a week?  I can lose weight.
  • Lunch twice a week?  I can maintain weight.
  • Lunch three or more times a week?  I can expand like the Russian Empire.  I start covering my French Freedom Fries with mayonnaise and capitulate to the forces of metabolism and gravity.

When I’m working human length hours at work, however, I’ve learned that hunger actually isn’t strong enough (in the small amounts of it that I feel) to drive me to cheat on my diet.  That’s what wine is for.

“One piece of pizza surely won’t hurt,” says the wine.

Every person (by now, at my age) knows someone, or more likely multiple people, who have had gastric bypass surgery.  I’m not going into detail on the surgery, but after reading up on it, all I can say is I’d prefer the diet that I’m listing up above.  The people who I know who’ve had surgery have said nothing but good things about it, and I’ve seen a man lose so much weight so fast he looked like a candle on the black dash of a 1998 Toyota Corolla® in the Sun.  Literally, a candle melting inside the corona of our Sun, or so Jim Morrison told me.

But surgery sounds like much more work, pain, and much more cost than simply eating a lot less.

Besides, who needs surgery when I have all the coffee I can drink?

Before you go and jump into even considering this, GO SEE A DOCTOR!  I’m just telling you what’s worked for me and my results.  If you think this is good advice, write down JOHN WILDER KNOWS NOTHING 453 times in cursive.  Please, take responsibility for your own decisions, heaven knows someone has to.