@Noom Week 24

week_24-1 large

This is the beginning of the 3rd week of my 2nd goal to lose weight with Noom.  I started  my first goal on January 5th, 2013 with 63lbs to lose and I lost it with 2 months to spare.  Although I did get lucky that I was 200lbs by my birthday because the weight wasn’t dropping as fast as it was in the beginning, but I think when you have a lot of fat to lose, with just a change of diet it will probably drop a lot faster in the beginning.  Now that my body is used to this new healthy lifestyle, I am not losing weight as easily.

When I started working with Noom, I wasn’t exercising as much as I should have because of my back problems.  I can make excuses all day long, but there really isn’t any excuse for not exercising.  I can do some exercises in my bedroom, on my bed, in my desk chair or standing in front of the TV or even in the hallway or kitchen, it doesn’t matter, but it’s difficult for me to do anything with Degenerative Disc Disease.  I am usually sitting on my desk chair at my desk and of course I have a ton of pain here, but when I go sit or lay on my bed, the pain goes away.

I do have a bicycle and I attempted to ride it on the bicycle trail.  I bought a pair of cycling bib shorts from Bike Nashbar and 2 shirts for cycling, and of course I have 3 shirts from Noom that wick the moisture like my other cycling shirts.  But then I had an accident on my bicycle and broke my arm, so I couldn’t go bike riding.  I bought one of those no flat tubes that’s like a solid rubber tube, but I can’t get it on my wheel and now I’ve ruined the rim AND the tire, so I’m afraid if I buy a new tube, the wires sticking out of the tire is going to pop the new tube, or I might have damaged the rim so there might be metal sticking out of the rim that might pop the new tube.  A new rim is about $30 and I’m sure a new tire is around $20 or $30.  It wouldn’t even be worth my money, I’d be better off buying a new bicycle, but I can’t afford anything, so I have no bike now.

I haven’t examined my bicycle to see if there was any damage to the front rim from the accident.  I bought the bicycle from Walmart in 2004 for $60 so it was a cheap bicycle from the start.  I have replaced about 75% of the bicycle over the years, so I have put literally hundreds of dollars into that bicycle.  The only thing original is the frame, the (I’m going to sound dumb here) the mechanism that the pedals are attached to (LOL) and the chain.  Everything else has been replaced.

Instead of cycling, I’ve been walking which is agony for my back, but I’ve been doing it a couple of times per week just to get some exercise in.  Of course by the time I get home from doing that, I am in so much pain that I just can’t stand living anymore.  Speaking of which, I am in so much pain sitting here typing this that I had to go get the ice pack and take a Vicodin.

walking workout june 14 Anyway, I’ve been trying to walk a mile, but instead of only walking a mile, I will add some distance every time I go out.  Yesterday I walked more than 3 miles.  My back was in absolute agony the entire time, but I didn’t care because I really wanted to burn some calories, which I did.  Here is that workout (left).

I went out with my black Noom shirt, my Noom water bottle and my Noom sunglasses.  I absolutely love my Noom swag lol.  I normally like to go out with my Noom backpack, but I really don’t have anything to put in it, so I don’t have much of a reason to bring it.  If I had a bicycle, I would put my Camelbak inside of it with the hose sticking out and I would clip the hose to the strap to secure it.  I could probably do that on my walk, but I like to hold the water bottle.  I really don’t need 3 liters of water on a 3 mile walk anyway.

My estimated end date isn’t until November, although the Noom weight graph says September 17th if I lose 2lbs per week.  Last week it was September 15th and I lost less than 2lbs this week so naturally the date got pushed by 2 days.  I’m really not in any hurry to be 170lbs though, so no pressure.  I feel that if it happens then it happens.  I don’t want to rush myself because I feel comfortable in my skin the way I am now, so if I lose more weight, then bonus.  The main thing is that I don’t put any pressure on myself to lose any more weight because that’s too stressful and I don’t want my brain releasing cortisol from the stress which will prevent me from losing more weight.  Although the back pain from walking might end up doing that for me.recumbent bicycleI really wish I had a bicycle, it would be so much easier to exercise because then I could sit down the entire time.  I really want a recumbent bicycle though, because then I could sit back which will REALLY be easier on my back.  That would be ideal, but those are REALLY expensive.  If and when I finally get a new bicycle, I’m going to get a beach cruiser or a hybrid.  I mainly just want a bicycle with the big handlebars that will allow me to sit straight up.  My mountain bike had me sitting forward which hurt my shoulder and back, that’s why I had to replace the handlebar with a beach cruiser handlebar.  A hybrid would be better for me than a mountain bike or a road bike (10 speed).  When I do buy a new bike, I will go to Target and get a Huffy because I know Huffy is a good brand.

Anyway, back to reality lol.  This week I weighed in at 197.0 and I still have a way to go to get down to 170lbs.  I am positive that I will eventually reach that goal by September, if not then it happens when it happens.  I will still eat healthy no matter what and I will still go for walks despite the pain until I finally get a new bicycle.

Until next week…

Dang It Got Cold Fast!

delonghi safe heat radiator

Most people think that we in California never get cold in the winter time, that it’s always sunny and in the mid 80’s and we’re all wearing flip-flops, shorts and tank tops all year.  Well, I have one friend who thinks that anyway.  To dispel that rumor, it does get cold in the winter time for us here in Sunny California.

Right now as I write this at two in the afternoon, it is 56°F in Bakersfield.  Our walls and roof are supposed to keep us warm right?  Wrong!  For some reason in the summer time, if it’s 100°F outside, it’s usually 110°F inside, but if we have the swamp cooler on, it’s usually 10° cooler inside the house than it is outside.  The same goes for when it’s cold outside, it’s usually 10° colder inside.  I said it was 56° now, but just wait until night-time when it goes down into the 30’s, and in mid to late December it gets down to the 20’s.

Since our central heat doesn’t work anymore, we have to use space heaters.  I have a DeLonghi oil radiator (pictured) in my bedroom that if I keep the hallway door closed, it heats the bedroom, hallway and bathroom.  Darrin has a totally different heater because the oil radiator didn’t keep the entire living room warm, in fact no space heater would heat the whole living room warm so he has a space heater that works like a fan where it blows heat at him.  He hasn’t brought it out yet, but I’ll bet he will soon.

I actually much prefer the winter over the summer because as I have always said, if it’s cold outside, you can add warm clothes and wear blankets and be comfortable, but if it’s too hot outside, you can be naked and still be sticky and miserable.  I’d rather be overdressed in the winter time and be happy.

So cheers to a long cold Winter of being happily overdressed lol.

Microsoft Support Center Scam

Today was a very good day.  I played EverQuest 2 for a couple of hours and I was having a ball.  I was video chatting with a friend of mine with Google Plus Hangouts when the phone rang.  I looked at the Caller ID and it said Unknown Name Unknown Number.  I never answer the phone when it says that, but Darrin does sometimes.

The phone first rang at 6:38pm and I guess Darrin answered it, but then he hung up on them.  They called again at 6:41pm and Darrin ran into my room and told me not to answer it, but I did anyway.  He whispered to me telling me that it’s a scam.  I was trying to hear what the guy was saying, but I had Darrin whispering to me while my friend was talking on my computer and I had to go into the hallway just to hear what this guy was saying.

Whoever was on the phone was asking me if my computer was on and at first I thought yeah yeah yeah and my refrigerator is running too, I guess I better go catch it, right?  I thought it was a crank call, so I asked “Who is this?”  He told me he was from Microsoft Service Center.  I asked him what he was calling for and he told me that I had viruses on my computer and that I can turn it on now.  I told him that he must have the wrong number because I don’t have a virus, but he insisted that he had the right number.  I couldn’t understand why he was telling me that I had a virus and that I had to turn my computer on, I mean, it was on because I was video chatting with someone.

I was getting a bit miffed with having people trying to talk to me while I was on the phone and with this guy telling me that he was from Microsoft and that my computer had a virus.  I asked him for the phone number where he was calling from, and he gave it to me.  (213) 221-3528.  I told him that I would call right back, but I was really going to Google the number so I could find out whether anyone else had gotten a call from that number before, but I didn’t find anything credible because it wasn’t on the caller ID so nobody else had complained about it.  I remembered that he said he was calling from Microsoft Service Center, so I Googled that and got a toll-free number 1 (866) 587-1775 and called them.

I spoke with an Indian man who I explained what happened to me when we got a scam phone call from “Microsoft Support Center” and he told me that Microsoft will never call me.  I agreed it sounded a bit suspicious, I figured he would tell me that there was nothing to worry about and that I should be fine, but instead he told me that they probably put a virus on my computer.  He asked me to open the Internet Explorer browser and go to a specific website, which now I can’t remember and for some odd reason it isn’t in the history.  He had me enter a code and run a program that will allow me to text chat with one of their operators named Deborah.  The program window said “My Tech Guru’s” on the top.

The man I was speaking with told me to continue the conversation online with “Deborah” and hang up with him, I assume so he can take another phone call.  She told me that she would use that program to take over my computer so she could find any viruses that I might have gotten from these people who had called me.  I really don’t know how that would be possible considering I never click a pop up ad and I never read or click links in spam emails.  The only thing I ever do is go on Facebook and Twitter, check my emails, and play video games.  The only time I ever click a link is in Twitter and Facebook when I’m reading news articles or signing petitions.  I don’t really see how I could get a virus.

I asked “Deborah” several times if this was going to cost me anything and she wouldn’t give me a direct response.  She asked my permission to control my PC and I kept asking her if it was going to cost me anything and again, she skirted the issue.  She told me that she had to find out what was going on first before she would respond.  I think I asked her 2 or 3 times before she took over the computer.

She clicked Start and Run and typed something, but I can’t recall what it was.  A window took forever to load and she ran it twice and the window she was waiting for finally came up twice.  She looked around and then closed the windows.  Then she clicked run again and typed cmd and opened the command window and typed a few things, then finally opened an events window which she scrolled through and found all these things that had errors like Bonjour and Chrome.  I’m not sure what Bonjour is, but it’s always been on my computer.  I know that the Chrome errors are probably from every time it crashes.  I’m sure Bonjour is constantly crashing, but she told me that those were viruses.  Yeah, Chrome is a virus… whatever.

She stopped poking around my computer and began talking to me about what she needs to do to fix my computer.  She told me that it needs to be fixed today, like right this minute and I began asking her again, how much is this going to cost me?  I think I asked 6 to 8 times before she finally told me that it was going to be $117 for a quick fix or $199 for a whole year.  I told her that I had around or about $50 in the bank and that there was no way I could afford that.  She tried getting me to change my mind for about 5 minutes and I explained to her that I had no money, so she gave me a better deal, $69.99.  I told her no way, I have less than $50 in the bank.  She asked me how much I could afford and I said $20, and even then I still can’t afford that, I have $50 in the bank.  She lowered it down to $39.99.  I said Deborah, we are in the middle of the month, that will leave me with $10 for groceries for the next couple of weeks.  You can’t do this to me.

UGH!  She tried getting me to pay her $40 but I kept telling her it was not easy to feed 2 people on $10 in 2 weeks and I told her maybe when I get more money, but I can’t promise anything.  She was having trouble letting me go, but I had to tell her that I had to go.  I revoked her permission and closed the window.

The phone call started at 6:38pm and then I called Microsoft Service Center at maybe 6:50pm and by the time I exited the chat with Deborah, it was probably 8:15pm.  I had wasted so much of my time on this issue for nothing.

After I got off the chat with her, I was going to Google Microsoft Service Center, but then as I was typing, the auto thing dropped down to finish my sentence with Microsoft Service Center Scam.  I clicked that and it showed me a list of things.  One from Microsoft itself…  Avoid Phone Scams is from the Microsoft website.  They also have this Microsoft Safety Scanner which is FREE!  Although, it’s probably not going to fix anything, but at least it might tell me what’s going on.  I’ve been scanning my computer with that for the last 3 1/2 hours and it has found 6 infected files.  It’s not even halfway done so I expect it’s going to run all night before I finally find out what’s going on and what my options are.

I was Googling for more information that I could use for this post and guess what I found out?  I Googled that phone number that I called and found that THEY too are a scam, and I let them take control of my computer.  866-587-1775.  Then I found them again on the Microsoft website.  Well, so much for a search engine giving me credible information.

My suggestion is that if you get a phone call from someone saying they are Microsoft and telling you that you have a virus on your computer, hang up!  Don’t call Microsoft Service Centers, just go directly to the Microsoft website and scan your computer.  I’ve been using Avast Antivirus because I can’t afford to keep paying Norton every year for their updates, but now I see I’m gonna have to get another antivirus because this isn’t showing me the 6 viruses that the Microsoft Safety Scanner has found so far.

I hope this will all be fixed by tomorrow so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.  We’ll see.

Update: I forgot to mention that “Deborah” told me to change my email and bank passwords.  I did, and I also changed my Facebook password just in case.

Update: Last night when I wrote this, I said there were 6 issues.  When I got up at the ass crack of dawn I noticed that it had finished scanning, but it wasn’t at the scanning screen anymore so I didn’t know how many issues were found.  As far as I knew there were still only 6, and those were just on the C drive.  I have 2 hard drives, my old 320GB hard drive which won’t work with my new motherboard as the main hard drive, so I use it as my backup drive.  Then I have my new hard drive which is my main hard drive and is the E drive.  The window said that there were 3 issues, 2 of them were on the C drive and they were a Scooby Doo theme which I haven’t used in more than a decade, and then the E drive showed 1 issue which I can’t even remember the name now, but it had the word fun in it so it must be evil right?  LOL.  I let the Microsoft Safety Scanner remove all affected files and then it rebooted.  As far as I know there aren’t any issues, but I will keep that scanner around and do quick scans from time to time.  I’m not really worried about it anymore.

Inception

I finally rented Inception today and I am so glad that I finally got to see this movie. I’m usually late when it comes to seeing movies since we don’t go out to the theater as much as we used to but I say better late than never.

I think the concept was great, although I don’t know if I would want to spend 50 years in my own mind (or anyone else’s for that matter) even if it’s really only 5 minutes in the real world. That’s just too much for me to handle. Then again you can learn many skills in 50 years that you can take back with you in the real world. Or you can spend another 50 more years with someone who only has minutes to live.

Welcome back to the real world.

Once you got used to the idea of what was going on in the movie it became easier to understand what was happening. They went into so many dreams within dreams and what was going on in the previous dream was also sort of happening in the dream they were currently in. Does that make sense?

The special effects were really good, especially when the one end of the city started to fold over until the buildings were on top of the other buildings and they were all connected like they were supposed to fit that way as if they were legos. Then the scene in the hotel where he was floating all over the hallway, that looked fun, it was sort of like swimming in the air.

If there were that many people trying to kill me in a dream, I don’t think I would want to stay very long in that world. Then again I guess if I were invading someones mind like that then that’s all I could expect right?

The very end was a mystery, the top, it was spinning but didn’t stop. If that happens in a dream then that means you aren’t in the real world, if it stops then you are ok. Is this an opening to a sequel?

It was a great movie and it won lots of Oscars (from what I hear) and I’m glad I finally got to see it. I don’t have a Blu-Ray so I don’t know if it has any extras but the DVD that I rented from the RedBox had no extras on it. I would love to have seen some bonus features but that’s ok.

I would say that the DVD is a “rent” but not a “buy” but if the Blu-Ray has bonus then buy because it’s a good movie to see a few times, especially if it takes you awhile to wrap your head around movies like this.

Steam Cleaner

Today I was trying to clean the carpet in my room and the hallway because of the dog peeing all over the house and it just wouldn’t work.  The hand-held thingy with the hose worked, I mean releasing the water and soap but just using it as an upright it wasn’t releasing any water.  I finally ended up just using the hand-held thing to put the soapy water on the ground then used the upright part to scrub the carpet fibers and suck up the water.

The last time I used it I cleaned it and it was fine sitting in the coat closet near the front door.  It worked the last time I used it, I don’t know why this time it didn’t work.  I did everything the book said to do in the troubleshooting section.  I didn’t do the living room yet because I have to pick up in there and that will take a bit more time, there is more furniture in there.  But when I do go to use it I hope it works for me.