My Nintendo 64 on Ebay

Nintendo 64

Today is a sad day for me because I had to put my Nintendo 64 on ebay.  I bought it from someone in 2002 and played it a couple of times, but then I didn’t have time for it because I was too busy playing EverQuest on my computer.  I had a lot of fun playing The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, and I never even got to finish it, but I sadly got bored with it when I got stuck and couldn’t figure out how to continue.  It has sat in my TV cabinet all these years.

I bought the other 2 games South Park and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil in 2010 I believe.  I played South Park for like 5 minutes, but I didn’t play Turok 2 so I never really enjoyed it.  I did however have a lot of time with the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of time.  I only got to a certain point and then couldn’t get past it and gave up.

So I made some videos of the game play so you can see that the system and games do work.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil – I have to admit, I have never actually played the game so I had no idea where to go or what to do lol.  http://youtu.be/sm_0yG-m1Ow

South Park: http://youtu.be/elYhbZu3Bls

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: http://youtu.be/698xbfc4QUE

My original thought was to sell this on ebay so I could save up for a new bike, but I have a feeling I’m going to need the money for groceries this month.  I hope we are going to be okay for food, but just in case, I would like to sell this so we can survive.

Michelina’s are more affordable than Weight Watchers

michelinas zap ems

I have lost a total of 70lbs over the last 6 months with Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners and Noom.  Money is tight and I can no longer afford the luxury of paying $2 for the WW meals, so instead I had to do some research and find some other cheaper alternative with the same calories, fat and sodium as the Weight Watchers.

My partner of 19 years told me that we should buy the Michelina’s because they were half the price, but I insisted on the Weight Watchers for several reasons.  The first reason is because the Weight Watchers has the name Weight Watchers.  It’s psychological.  If you see it is a product for losing weight, you put it in your mind that if you ate that or Lean Cuisine that you are doing good.  Another reason was because they weighed more than the Michelina’s, so naturally you want more food, even if it was only 1-2oz difference.  My final reason is that the Weight Watchers show up as green in the Noom app while the Michelina’s show up as yellow.  Although, the pizza snacks show up as red.

So since times are tough and we don’t have the luxury anymore, I decided to start buying the Michelina’s.  They are $1.49 at Albertson’s, but they are currently on sale for 10 for $10.  I could be paying .97 cents at Food Maxx, but what’s 3 cents?  I also have coupons for $1 off 5, so if I use 2 coupons then I am really getting 10 for $8.  Not bad.  Although, I printed the coupons and went to the store without them.  Ooops.

michelinas lean gourmet I wrote a post about how the Weight Watchers are better than the Michelina’s Lean Gourmet which I still stand by.  The reason I don’t like the Lean Gourmet is because the sodium is really high and the calories aren’t that much lower than the Zap ‘ems.  They have more flavors in the Lean Gourmet too like the meat and potatoes, which is what I miss from the Weight Watchers.  The Lean Gourmet meals are good, but I have a huge issue with the sodium content.  The Lean Gourmet also show up as yellow in the Noom app, so they aren’t any better than the Zap ‘ems in that regard.

Not all of the Zap ‘ems have vegetables in them so what I’ll do is I will buy some frozen vegetables and when I open the Zap ‘ems, I will pour 1 cup worth on the top and then microwave it for double the amount of time suggested to make sure the frozen vegetables will have time to cook.  My favorite is spinach.  I’ve added broccoli and brussel sprouts too.  I would like to also buy some carrots and put those in there.  It just makes it that much more healthier in my mind and it gives me more food.

I don’t have that much more weight to lose to get down to my goal weight of 170lbs.  Last night I weighed myself at 192.8lbs, but today it went back up to 195 for some odd reason.  Last week on my weigh in day I was 193.6 so I would love to be 191 or 192 tomorrow, but we will see how it goes.  I just hope the switch from Weight Watchers to Michelina’s hasn’t made much of a difference, but I will find out tomorrow.

I am trying to buy a bicycle so I can exercise to help me lose weight, but the only way I can is if people help me out by buying a keychain, my hemp choker or bracelet or some earrings on my Etsy store.  You can use the coupon code NODOMA for 25% off.  It would really help me.  The keychains are cheap at $2 and the earrings are also cheap (inexpensive, not cheap) at $5.  It’s only a couple bucks, and they literally take hours to make each and I’m not asking for much for them.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

Help Me Exercise

Huffy Nassau

I have been riding my bicycle for years for exercise because I have a bad back which causes excruciating pain when I walk.  It’s just easier on my back to sit down.  I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower spine, but since then the pain has gone higher, near the top of my spine.  I have recently had new x-rays on my back and those x-rays will tell the doctor whether I need to have another MRI done or not so that I can finally get something done about it.  I have already lost 70lbs with diet alone, but I feel that by not exercising because I don’t have a bicycle to exercise with, I am probably not just losing fat, but also muscle tissue and I don’t want that to happen, so that’s why exercise is crucial to helping me in my weight loss journey with Noom.

Since I had my accident a few months ago that resulted in a broken arm, I haven’t been able to ride my bike.  It’s not because of the accident, but because of my back tire.  See, it was constantly going flat even though there wasn’t a hole in the tube, so I bought a no mor flat hard rubber tube for it and I couldn’t install it and I think trying to install it I might have made things worse.  The damage that no mor flat tube caused will end up costing me $30 for a new tire and $30 for a new rim, or more.  Well, my bike was only $60 to begin with and I have sunk far too much money into it and it’s old now so I would rather just start fresh with a new bike.

The bike that I want to buy (image above) is from Target.com for $125, although that is a temporary price reduction, by the time I have the money saved it will go up to $140, so that is why I am asking for help to pay for it.  I’m not asking for a handout, but simply asking if people bought a keychain or a pair of earrings on my Etsy store.  Whatever I make on Etsy will help me buy a new bicycle.  I already have half of the money, I just need the other half.

Below are my keychains and earrings and I am making more everyday.  The earrings are only $5 and the keychains are only $3.50 because I don’t feel right about asking for any more than that.  I always feel bad about asking for money, so that’s why I am selling these so cheap.  They literally take a couple of hours to make, so I am working hard for the few dollars I am asking for and also risking damage to my hands because I have carpal tunnel syndrome.

So if you find something that you like, please help me out and if you would like a specific color combination let me know and I will make it.  I have the following colors available.  Red, translucent orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, clear, translucent blue and translucent pink.  Thank you for reading.

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Michael’s Earring Hooks

all 3 rainbow earrings

I bought earring hooks from Michael’s to use in the earrings that I make to sell on Etsy.  I was worried that because the package didn’t say what type of metal they were and they didn’t say they were hypoallergenic, that perhaps maybe I shouldn’t use them at all because I would hate to go through all that trouble to make earrings that people will have to throw or give away because they irritate their skin.  I decided to still make these earrings because there are people out there who can tolerate any metal earring.

I did buy some hypoallergenic hooks on Amazon, but I didn’t read the reviews until after I paid for them, and I tried to cancel the order right away, but they wouldn’t let me choose a reason for canceling, so I’m stuck with them.   The reviews were basically saying they took too long to ship because they ship from Honk Kong, which I didn’t see when I bought them.  They also said that some of the hooks were bent and that they ended up throwing most of them in the trash and that despite saying they were hypoallergenic, they weren’t.  So when I get those in the mail in August, I will have to say they are not hypoallergenic, but I will test them on myself before I use them.

Of course I will be buying some known hypoallergenic hooks, but they are incredibly expensive.  So unless I actually sell earrings or keychains, I won’t be able to afford to buy the expensive hypoallergenic hooks.

So the earring hooks I bought from Michael’s aren’t doing so bad.  I decided to put in a pair at Midnight on the night of July the 5th 2013 and have had them in my ears for nearly 11 hours and this is how they look in my ears.  The package had 2 different types of hooks, half of each, these aren’t the same type of hooks in the earrings you see in the image at the top.  I have a really bad sensitivity to certain metals and believe me, I will get a reaction after just a few minutes, so if I’ve had these in my ears for 11 hours, then I’m sure they should be okay for anyone else.

earrings 10 hours

As you can see, the hooks haven’t made any impact on my ears.  They are the ones in the 2nd hole in both ears.  Keep in mind that those holes haven’t had an earring in them for years and I had to push them in a bit because they felt like they had closed up in the back.  So if there is some redness, that’s probably why.  They do look a little red in the picture, especially the left ear, but there isn’t any irritation and they aren’t red when I look at them in the mirror.  They seem fine to me.

Of course, 11 hours isn’t hardly enough time to judge whether these earrings from Michael’s are going to cause a bad reaction, so I will keep taking pictures every day for a week and keep updating this post.

Update:  After 16 hours of wearing these Michael’s earrings, I suddenly felt a pressure in my head accompanied by ringing in both ears and slight dizziness.  I Googled my symptoms and found out that a lot of people have asked about earrings causing that and the condition is called Tinnitus.  I took the earrings out and within half an hour my symptoms eased up, but they are still there after another half an hour.  I thought that perhaps it was not caused by the earrings because when I took them out I took a picture and they didn’t look that bad.  There wasn’t any redness, swelling or pain.  I would think that if my ears were having an allergic reaction to the metal they would at least be red.  I didn’t see any redness in the mirror, but I do see it in the pictures.

earrings 16 hours

After having them out for 45 minutes, I decided to put them in Claire’s Ear Wash Antiseptic and put them back in.  The dizziness, tightness and buzzing or ringing is still there, but it’s not as bad as it was, so I don’t know what caused it or why, but I’m going to leave the earrings in and see what happens next.  I really want these earrings to work for me, because if I can wear them, then I will sleep better knowing that I am not selling earrings that people are going to have issues with.  Of course, if you know you have an allergy to certain metals, you know not to buy unless it says it is hypoallergenic, so naturally buyer beware.  I will keep them in for as long as I can.  See how dedicated I am to my customers that I am willing to risk getting an infection lol.

24 hour update:  I have had these earrings in my ears for 24 hours.  Well, minus about 45 minutes from earlier today when I got dizzy and had a constant ringing in my ears.  The dizziness and ringing didn’t come back, so I’m wondering if that was something else.  I have been having dizzy spells, so perhaps that wasn’t related to the earrings.  At any rate, I seem to be doing fine.  Pictures to come tomorrow afternoon.

40 hour update:  I had to take the earrings out of my ears because my right ear was starting to get infected.  That sucks.  I knew these earrings wouldn’t be hypoallergenic, but I was kind of hoping they would still be okay.  Oh well.  Here is the final picture.

earrings 40 hours

I forgot to write right ear and left ear, but you can figure that out lol.  As you can see, the left ear is fine, it didn’t get affected at all, but the right ear is infected.  What’s funny is that neither one of them hurt, even the infected one, so I didn’t even know it was infected until I took the picture.

I will be buying some actual hypoallergenic earring hooks called Niobium as well as plastic earring studs for another type of earring for men.  I actually just bought the plastic earring studs so when they come I can figure out what I will make.  Whatever it is will be made with gimp like the keychains.

Week 27 with @Noom

Noom Logo

Today is day 1 of Week 27 and I am very happy to say that despite what I ate for the 4th of July, I actually lost weight this week.  So yay me!

We went to Golden Corral and the only thing I ate that day before we went was breakfast, so I was nice and hungry by the time we finally made it there at 4pm.  We haven’t been there since January 1st before I started my weight loss plan with Noom, so we wanted to indulge just once, and boy did we indulge.

I was good though.  I did have a few plates, but they weren’t packed with food and I logged everything on my plate.  I actually remember what I ate.

Plate 1: Salad.  I had lettuce, cucumber, chicken, olives and my dressing was light ranch.  I don’t care for vinaigrettes.  I know I should use those, but I don’t like them.  I topped it with some sunflower seeds.

Plate 2: Medium rare steak, penne pasta with a tiny amount of alfredo sauce, corn and spinach.

Plate 2: Another piece of steak Medium Well, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic biscuit.

Dessert: Apple pie, because who doesn’t eat apple pie on July 4th?

So all 3 of my plates were 799 calories according to the Noom app and my dessert was 297 calories.  My total calories for that day were 1387/1400.  I did end up eating a banana before bed which I didn’t log.

So despite all of that, today I weighed in at 193.6lbs for a weight loss total of 69.4lbs since January 5th 2013.  My goal is to get down to 170lbs and I am at 74.62%.

I won’t be going to Golden Corral too often because that is a really bad place to go, but at least when I did go, I was responsible enough to eat my veggies.  Besides the pasta and the alfredo sauce, salad dressing, biscuit and the pie, I pretty much stayed away from all the bad foods that I used to eat there.  If we ever do get to go back there after I lose the rest of this fat, I know how to eat properly and I can make better decisions.

Huffy Nassau

Bright side, we went to Target yesterday and I saw the bike that I want to save up for.  I’ve been selling keychains and earrings on Etsy, so whatever I get from the sales of those things are going towards buying a new bicycle.  That is if people will buy them lol.  I have exactly $200 worth of merchandise in a box in my room and according to the Target website, this particular bike (pictured) is only $125.99 and is only sold through their website.  Although, the bike we saw at Target was blue and it didn’t have a price tag, but we assumed it was $200 just like the other bikes next to it.  I don’t care which I get, as long as it’s a good sturdy bike.  This one pictured is a Huffy Fresno.  Sounds good to me!

A bicycle is the perfect tool for exercise for me since I have back problems, which by the way I had x-rays for so I will get those results next month when I go back to the doctor’s office.  I can ride for hours and burn hundreds of calories and walking is too painful, so which exercise do you think is the better one?  I say cycling.

At any rate, this week was a good week for my weight loss and I look forward to where I will be next week, so until then..

Update: I am closer to that bike.  I have $67.73 saving up, so I just need a few more sales and then I can buy the bike.  I basically need to sell either a dozen pairs of earrings or 2 dozen keychains, and then I can buy it.  By the time I have the money saved up, the bike will be more expensive, or they won’t sell it anymore so I will end up having to pick another one, but that’s fine.  I had a different bike in mind, but this one has the rack in the back which I can put my Townie Basket on for grocery bags and it has a basket in front that I can also use for my Noom water bottle and for keeping the tire repair tools in.

Earrings and Keychains Galore

etsy dna earrings

You know the story of when I first learned how to make keychains right?  Do I have to go back down memory lane again?  Oh alright, you twisted my arm.

When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I could be wrong on the particular age, my parents would buy us kids crafts to keep us busy.  We learned latch hook so we would make rugs that would end up on the wall for a very brief moment before they disappeared and nobody ever wondered where they went, or at least I didn’t anyway.  I went into the Cub Scouts at age 9 and that was when I learned to make the keychains, but the very simple box one.  I couldn’t even make the circular ones yet.  I certainly didn’t know how to finish them because we would end up lighting the ends on fire and they would turn black.  That was a hazard for a 9 year old to play with fire and to squash the burning plastic with their fingers lol.

I also learned plastic canvas crafts while in the Cub Scouts and I learned how to tie dye a t-shirt at Salvation Army band camp when I was 12.  When I was 17 I learned to make friendship bracelets and when I was 18 I learned to crochet, knit and embroider.

Since then my craft has certainly evolved, unfortunately so has the pain which caused carpal tunnel syndrome.  I have my good days and bad days, but mainly I just work on the keychains and earrings whenever I get the chance.

I started making the Rainbow DNA plastic lanyard earrings recently based on the actual keychains of which I have even made several different styles and color combinations.  I was looking at a keychain and thinking, this would look great on an earring, but on a smaller scale, and here I am now.  The 2nd pair of earrings that I made are a bit more patriotic to match the patriotic DNA lanyard keychain that I have made.

So I’m having fun making them and really, isn’t that what life is all about?  Doing what you love and having fun doing it.  I think it is.  I love the keychains, and I just adore the earrings to match and I think you will too.  So check them out and let me know how you like them.

The keychains are $3.50, the earrings are $5 and the shipping is $2.00 and .25 cents for each additional item in your order.  My Etsy shop is called GayNerd.

Back X-rays

back-pain-xray

We went to the doctor’s office today for our regular appointment and I mentioned that the Robaxin that he gave me for my back pain wasn’t helping at all.  That is a muscle relaxer and I don’t think the problem is in my muscles.  I told him that I had an MRI a few years ago and they found out that I had Degenerative Disc Disease in my lower spine and since then the pain has gone up to the middle of my spine.  In fact, if you look at the image above, the red area is actually where my pain is.  The top of the red area is the worst.

He poked my back and of course I wasn’t in pain at all because I was sitting in the waiting room and in the exam room.  I told him that the pain is usually when I am standing or walking for more than 5 minutes.  I described the pain by motioning my hand as if I were repeatedly stabbing someone in the spine.  I’ve never been stabbed repeatedly so I don’t know exactly how that feels, but I do know that my back hurts a lot, so I can just imagine that is what it feels like.

We went to Truxton Radiology and I had many x-rays taken.  The x-ray technician told me it would be up to 4 days, but I told her that I won’t see the doctor for 4 more weeks so no rush.  Besides, I’ve been dealing with this pain for many years, so another 4 days isn’t going to hurt me.

My pain first began in 2000 when I would bend over to pick something up and my back would literally lock up.  I would be stuck in the bent over position because I could not straighten my back.  After grabbing something to keep from falling and almost screaming from the pain, I would stand there for a minute until it unlocked and I was able to stand up slowly.  That happened in front of my aunt and uncle in Palmdale in 2004 or 2005, I forget when exactly.  I had pain in the lower part of my spine, but it was nothing compared to what it is like today.

Just before I went to get my x-ray I saw this humungous fish in a very large fish tank by the back door.  My first thought was holy cow that’s a big fish.  As I left, I took my phone out to take a picture, but first I reached my finger to the tank as if I were petting him, or the tank, and he rammed the glass while trying to chomp my fingers off as if they were inside the glass.  Holy crap that was an aggressive fish lol.  I pulled my hand away and he was looking straight at me.  He wouldn’t look at anything else, so to get him to turn so I could take the picture I had to put my right hand out to my side so he would turn his body.  Here are 2 pictures of the fish below.  You can see my reflection in the glass so you can use that as a scale.

big fish

big fish 2

Anyway, now I am finally getting my back pain taken care of.  The doctor said that the x-rays will determine whether I will need another MRI, but in the meantime he is going to call Truxton Radiology where I had the original MRI for those results.  I don’t know what they can do, but at least they will see where the problem is and possibly give me a brace or maybe injections for the pain.  I’ve seen the commercials for that exercise machine where you are upside down which helps to replenish your discs, so perhaps I will get something that is equivalent that is more affordable.  Who knows for sure.  I will keep this blog updated on that.