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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Happy Holidays 2011

I forgot to send out cards this year.  Oopsie!  So instead of sending our cards out late, this is what everyone is getting lol.  If you are wondering why it’s not a photo of us, neither Darrin nor myself are photogenic (we hate our pictures being taken) so you get to see our tree instead.  Hey, Darrin just got his new iPhone, I don’t want to be responsible for breaking the camera with my image LOL.  No but seriously, I would like to get a picture of us together but I’d prefer in a more professional setting.  Maybe in the year 2025…

Every year since the 90’s, I have spent Christmas with either my family, or with Chips.  This year we are going to stay home instead of traveling.  It is fun to drive south for the holidays, but Darrin just can’t get the time off.  I actually don’t mind staying home because I’ll be able to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special.  I would hate to have to wait for the next series to come on when it finally repeats.  That has happened every year too so I’m looking forward to finally watching it the day it actually airs.

Santa has already visited us, so we really don’t have much to celebrate anymore.  Darrin bought himself, or should I say Santa bought Darrin a new iPhone 4S with a 2 year contract with Verizon.  And I got some new underwear.  Yes, I asked for underwear lol.  That was actually what I really wanted so I’m happy.  I was down to 3 holey pair, so I was long overdue.  I would have asked for an iPod Touch 4th gen 16GB, but Santa has already spent too much money on one apple product, so I can wait to see if I get any money from book sales for that, or an iPad2 lol.

Speaking of my book, I had hoped I would have been finished with it by the day after Christmas but I am still in editing.  I finished my final edit, but then I went back to the beginning and have found more issues.  I am working on my final final edit so hopefully it will be finished by January 1st 2012.  I can’t promise anything because when I finish with my final final edit, I will of course have to read the whole book again to make absolutely sure it’s perfect before I publish it.  I don’t want even one word out of place or misspelled lol.

In case you are wondering, yes I have been working on this book for the last 6 months.  I actually started in 1989… started over in 1997… started over summer 2010 and only wrote 3 or 4 chapters.  Started over again in May or June 2011 where I rewrote the chapters that I wrote in 2010 and wrote the rest of the book.  It only took 2 months to write it, but it has taken me 4 months to edit it.  Writing is hard ya’ll!

Anyway, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all.

Publishing My Book

I spent this summer writing my life story into a 289 page e-book.  It took a lot of time to write and it has taken even longer to edit because I am not what most would consider to be a writer.  I barely manage writing a blog, I have a difficult enough time thinking of what to write in a greeting card.

I have already copyrighted (pending) my book (title and unedited contents) so that when I am ready to publish it, I won’t have to worry about waiting for the copyright to kick in.

I have already signed up with Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a self publisher, which was so easy that anyone can do it.  I also wanted to sign up on the Rainbow Ebook website as a self publisher because I want to support them as an e-book store.  It’s nice to give back to my community in any way that I can.

As soon as it is completely edited, I will publish it and start advertising and promoting via here, twitter, Facebook, my space and anywhere else that I can advertise it for free.  I may even pay gay and gay friendly bloggers to advertise it for me.

I am not looking to get rich on this book, in fact I mean to do the opposite.  I can only make so much money per year on top of my disability so I can’t get rich off of it.  I am only going to sell it for $6.99 so that I only profit a few dollars from the sale of each book and 10% of those profits will go to charity.  10% from Amazon, B&N and Rainbow Ebooks combined will be split up to go to the Human Rights Campaign, ChildHelp.org and Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors fund.

My book will hopefully raise awareness to so many issues in our society about the way children are being raised to be as abusive, racist and bigoted as the parents who are raising them.  I feel it’s important not just to tell my story about the trauma I went through, but hope that it will help parents to change their hateful ways and views and know what they are doing to their children when they raise them full of so much hatred.

I wanted to be able to publish it before Christmas but then I got to thinking that it’s not the kind of thing you want to read during a happy time of year.  Instead, I will probably publish it after Christmas or maybe after New Years.  Keep in mind that it is still being edited so it is possible that I won’t have it ready to publish until January.

So until then…

Update: I signed up for the free trial of Grammarly and was shocked to see that they raised the price from $20 to $70.  I thought that I would just go ahead and do the trial and get it done as quick as I could but it was catching too many errors that weren’t even errors.  So screw that, if my grammar checker in Open Office doesn’t show me those errors then they aren’t errors in my opinion.  I will read it one more time and fix any errors I think need to be fixed and then publish it when my copyright goes through or January like I said before.

Shop for Coffee

As with a lot of people, I have a coffee addiction.  I don’t know why, I just do.  Since it’s just me in the house all day long I have a whole pot to myself so it can take me the whole day to drink a pot but that’s even better for me.

My coffee maker has 2 sides, coffee on the left and espresso on the right.  I can make espresso, cappuccino and latte’s.  I mostly stick with latte’s because I don’t know how to make cappuccino’s and I’m not real into espresso because its way too strong for me.  It’s like a whole pot of coffee in a shot glass.  No thank you.

The grocery store is a great place if you don’t have that much money but they are getting to be too expensive for me and I was looking for a new place to buy espresso coffee for my latte’s.

ROASTe.com has only been around for a year but they have close to a thousand coffee choices and they are already the largest coffee store on the internet.  That’s not bad for only 1 year.  They have such a wide variety and selection of award-winning micro-roasted coffee for coffee lovers like you and me.

Their website has user-generated reviews making decision-making easier when searching for the right coffee.  I can’t count how many times I’ve bought things blindly without reading reviews.

ROASTe.com has free Shipping on order $35 and over and you can use coupon code BLOGME5 for $5 off your first coffee purchase just for reading this blog post.  Click one of the many banners in my blog to place your first order today.

Roku 2

Roku has finally come out with a next-gen version of the Roku internet tv streamer and it is smaller than before.

Now let me see if I can remember how it was before because they don’t have their older models on their site anymore.  The cheaper one did not have HD at all, it was for older model tv’s.  The 2nd one was XD and the 3rd one was XS.  I remember that much.  The XD and XS were the only 2 that had HD in them.  I bought 2 of the XD’s because the only difference between the XD and XS were that the XS had a USB on it so you could hook up a USB drive for looking at external images and/or videos.  I forget what else but it wasn’t that much else.

They have added many more features to the XS now which makes me want it more than the XD.  Like the old XD had wired and wifi internet connection and now only the XS has that.  Well, when I bought the 2 XD’s in January, I had so much trouble with the wifi that I had to plug it in to the router with the wire.

I have several blog posts about the Roku.  The first one was about the Roku and about how I was going to buy it.  Internet TV.  Then We are officially switching our cable and I remember how excited I was that I was going to be saving SO much money every month by not having to pay for cable.  I was mislead into thinking that even though everything else was going to be like DVR where I’d have to find what to watch, just like I do on the internet, I’d also get live news.  (Roku didn’t mislead me, Chips family member did.)  Well, that wasn’t right and Darrin didn’t like that very much so we kept our cable.

Then I said I won’t miss my shows but I found out that was a total lie because there were only a few shows on Hulu Plus that they allowed you to watch on your TV.  In fact, I would end up having to watch 95% of my shows on the computer anyway.

Just before we got our Roku boxes I was starting to question my decision; Is getting the Roku was worth it.  Then the next day they came and I posted this: Our Roku Boxes Arrived Today… They’re Going Back Tomorrow.

The main issue that I had with the Roku boxes was getting them connected.  It took a long time to get them online with my wifi and when I finally did they were only on for 30 minutes before disconnecting.  I had spent several hours on the phone getting them turned on, even changing my router settings and everything and still nothing but problems.

They said I had 30 days to return them and of course they went to the post office the next day.

I was really sad because I really thought it was going to be such a cool thing but it turned out to be really disappointing to us.  Darrin likes to watch the news as it happens, not as it happened yesterday.  And with the Casey Anthony trial, he wanted to see all of that unfold as it happened.

So I was getting the Roku for the wrong reasons.  I was getting it so that I could save money on my cable bill because I was paying $110 for it every month and if I switched to Roku I’d only have to pay $8 for Netflix and $8 for Hulu Plus.  Well, the Netflix was a good thing but the Hulu Plus wasn’t.  The Roku has hundreds of channels (or websites) to choose from but the issue is still the same, no live anything.  If I cancel my cable I need to have something that is live, even if it’s streaming live tv from the net, I don’t care.  Roku doesn’t work that way.

I do recommend the Roku 2 only if you do not plan on canceling your cable.  It is not a cable replacement but an addition to your cable.  That is ok.  You can choose the different boxes that they have.

If I were to buy this again, which I am seriously thinking about, I would go with the XS version only because I really need to know that if my WiFi doesn’t connect, at least I can plug it in to my router.  Also, check it out, they’ve added games to it.  I also like that USB port.  My tv has an SD card but not USB so that would be cool to add.

If I didn’t care about the cable (wire, not cable tv) so much, I would buy the HD because it has everything else I need minus the 1080p which doesn’t really matter to me because most everything that is on the internet is not 1080p anyway, even Hulu+ and Netflix.  So the middle box doesn’t really make sense to me.

I am not so jaded by my past experience with Roku that I would slam them and say they have a horrible service because the problem I had was a minor technical problem with the wifi.  The service they provide is awesome.

I think the Roku is such an awesome piece of technology and I say go for it, buy it.  It works great and if really have to have Hulu then you can also do the PlayOn thing which means your desktop computer has to be super fast and you won’t be able to use it anymore since it is now your tv’s server lol.  I can’t do that because my computer isn’t fast enough.

I’m seriously thinking about it but that is off in the future because I’m too broke right now.  Maybe I will wait until Christmas when I might have the money.  But until then, I can hook my CR-48 up to my tv to watch videos, which is what I have been doing.  It’s not great but it’s something at least for now.

If I were to rate the Roku I would give them 5 stars.

The Situation With My Bike

A couple of months ago my bike bit the dust. Well, the back wheel did. What happened was, I rode it to the store and all was ok, it started wobbling but not enough for me to stop and take notice. When I left the store, I unlocked my bike, put the groceries in the bag on the back rack and left. That’s when it took a turn for the worst. Get it? It’s a wheel… it took a “turn”… no?

Anyway, as I was leaving the space that I locked it up at, I got on it and started riding away. It was wobbling something terrible and I got off of it but couldn’t see anything wrong. I got back on it and continued to ride. All of a sudden something terrible happened and I had to get off the bike.

The sun was going down so it was hard to see what was wrong but I did notice that the long screw that holds the wheel onto the bike in the middle had unscrewed all the way over on the left side. The nuts on the right side were missing and so was everything else that was supposed to be in there. I didn’t see anything on the ground so I don’t know when that happened.

I walked the bike home which was a huge mistake, I should have gone across the street from where I was to use Chips cousins phone to have him come get me and the bike because walking it home ruined the back wheel.

The end of the long screw was digging into the middle of the wheel which screwed it up so much that the bike store told me that they can’t fix my wheel, I’d have to buy a new one which is $39.95 plus tax plus $7 to install.

I don’t know if by install they mean they will take the gears (cassette?) off my old wheel and put them on the new wheel or if he means that the new wheel has all the gears on it and installing means placing it on my bike frame. All I know is if it’s the latter, why should I pay someone $7 to do something that I can do for free.

I have put so much money into this mountain bike of mine, I just can’t keep sinking more and more money into it. The only original thing that is left on it is the frame and the chain. Everything else has been replaced.

When I had my first accident on the Oak st. bridge, I had to replace the handlebar stem and a new front wheel. I had to replace the pedals because one of them was broken because it was cheap plastic. My seat was making me impotent so I had to buy an ergo seat which gave me back problems and shoulder pain that wouldn’t go away for 8 months which is why I had to replace the handlebars with beach cruiser handlebars. My front tire got a bubble in it and broke the wiring for my bike computer so I had to buy a new computer and new tires.

I’m just going to get the new wheel and get it over with. I need my bike back for going to doctors appointments. I refuse to take the bus to visit the doctor with lunatics getting in my face at the bus station downtown. I also need it for the daily trip to the grocery store and so I can get back on the bike trail and lose this weight.

Fresh Air Fund

Awhile back I posted a message about the Fresh Air Fund – Half Marathon.  I am happy to announce that they have raised $80,000 this summer with their NYC half marathon.

I think that’s wonderful that they were able to raise that much money to help pay for summer camp for the children.

Hey if you want to check out all the pictures you can find them online:

www.facebook.com/freshairfund
www.twitter.com/FreshAirFund
www.freshair.org/the-fresh-air-fund.aspx