Friday, August 31, 2012

BTFC Day 18 - Thursday

Day 18

  • Breakfast - Tim Hortons large double double and breakfast sandwich (-1)
  • Snack - 1 donut, 1 cookie, 1 apple (-1)
  • Lunch - Meatloaf, quinoa, veggies (+1)
  • Dinner - 2 slices pizza, chicken burger, onion rings, pop (-2)
Sleep -1 am to 7:30 am - 6.5 hours - 0
Exercise - At home Tabata
  • 7 sets of 7 pushups
  • 3 sets of 6 pushups
  • 10 sets of 12 situps
  • 10 sets of 8 squats
  • 8 sets of 6 jump tucks, followed by a 10 and a 12
  • Score:+1

Day Score: -2
Weight:Not known

yeah I ate some pizza and fast food. It was delicious. And jump tucks suck. And I'm tired. How are you?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

BTFC Day 17 - Wednesday

Day 6

  • Breakfast - Yogurt + Fibre (+1)
  • Lunch - Meatloaf, Quinoa and Veggies (+1)
  • Dinner - Pasta (+1)
  • Post Dinner - Beer, chocolate almonds (-1)
Sleep - 2 am to 7:30 am - 5.5 hours - (-1)
Exercise - None (-1)
Day Score: +0
Weight: 218.8

After work - I was beat and just needed to crash. Hell, I feel like that right now. Energy levels are hard to sustain with less that 6 hours of sleep. I knew there was a reason I had that rule.

You gotta play the long game. Doing more work isn't always the answer, sometimes it's better to get some rest. Two hours of hard work is not worth it when you miss 2 days due to general sleepiness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BTFC Day 16 - Tuesday

Day 16

  • Breakfast - Yogurt + Flax seed (+1)
  • Lunch - Meatloaf, Quinoa, Veggies (+1)
  • Dinner - Lamb + Pasta, Protein Veggie shake (+1))
Sleep - 1 am to 6 am - 5 hours - (-1)
Exercise - 15 seconds on 15 seconds off for 5 minutes, sprinting (+1)
Day Score: +3
Weight: 221 lbs

Yes I got less than 6 hours of sleep. But dammit I don't care. The late evening that led to that late bed time was really productive and I managed to cross a bunch of things off of my to-do list. I also followed my day plan perfectly, up at 6, workout in the morning, get to work by 8. The plan was to workout again in the evening but I just couldn't, I was completely and utterly exhausted (so I did other, more mental work).

This was a great day. I woke up when I wanted to. I worked out like I wanted to. I knocked the hell out of my to-do list like I wanted to.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BTFC Day 15 - Monday

Day 15

  • Breakfast - Yogurt + Flax seed (+1)
  • Lunch - Meatloaf, Quinoa, Veggies (+1)
  • Dinner - Tomato Lamb Pasta w/ Cheese (+0)
  • Snack - Cake (-1)
Sleep - 1:30 am to 8 am - 6.5 hours - (0)
Exercise - Tabata at home - 10 sets of 6 pushups - 10 sets of 10 situps - 10 sets of 8 squats - 10 sets of 2 negatives + 3 leg raises (+1)
Additional - Bike ride - 25 minutes, varying intensity (+1)
Day Score: +3
Weight: 220 lbs

Working on the self control baby. Today's step was on the way home from work I resisted getting pizza - it was really hard cause I had the toonie in my pocket and was really damn hungry. Felt good man. Unfortunately I kind of undid it when I had a slice of cake at around 11pm. It's been sitting in my fridge for ages. Taunting me. Mocking me. And I'd just finished riding my bike for the first time in several weeks so I felt good no matter what.

So far this week feels a lot better. I'm sticking to my to-do lists, I'm making progress on my projects and I exercised twice in one day! Additionally thanks to a new wake-up technique I am starting my days at 6am.

Week 3 is going to be an excellent week - I can feel it in my bone.

Monday, August 27, 2012

BTFC Week 2 Summary

Week 2 finds me still trying to find a groove. Everything goes reasonably well when I'm at home, housesitting seems to throw me out of whack. The solution? Plan better. Next time I'm housesitting I'll bring more food from home and see if I can work on biking to work (which would be at least 10km each way).

Thoughts on the week - I find my self continually embarrassed to exercise outside. I feel like the 20 seconds on / 10 seconds off exercise looks ridiculous. Is that a legitimate worry? Why do I even care what random dog walkers think of me?

Eating continues to be a problem - I find I have low self control once I let a "bad" thing into my house. Once it's in the house, I just snack on it when I get a tiny bit peckish - it's not good! Self control doesn't come easily to me. Lord knows how I quit smoking.

On to this week's goals:
  • Exercise 4 out of 7 days - Incomplete (3/7)
  • Eat right 65% of meals - Incomplete (42%)
  • Weight Trend Down - Incomplete (Up)
  • Only sleep less than 6 hours once - Incomplete (twice)
Wow - that's not good at all. For the record my weight went from 228.8 on Day 0 to 218.8 on Day 7 to 223.2 on Day 14.

Week #3's goals are going to be the same as week 2:
  • Exercise 4 out of 7 days
  • Eat right 65% of meals
  • Weight Trend Down
  • Only sleep less than 6 hours once
This week's posts:

BTFC Day 14 - Sunday

Day 14

  • Breakfast - Scrambled Egg + Lamb (+1)
  • Lunch - Popcorn (-1)
  • Dinner - Pasta with Mushroom Beef Tomato Sauce (+1)
Sleep - 4 am to 11 am - 7 hours - (+1)
Exercise - 10 sets of 6 pushups, 10 sets of 14 sit-ups, 10 sets of 7 squats, 10 set of 2 negatives (+1)
Day Score: +3
Weight: 223.2

My weight is just not going in the direction I want it to. It's very frustrating. Actually it's not. I know my weight goes up and down no matter what. There is reassurance in that I'm getting back on track with my goals and follow through. A lot of talk does nothing but actually eating better and working out? That does a lot.

Went to Costco yesterday and grabbed some milled flax seed, apparently high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. I got it because it fits in well with my plan to make muffins for the morning. First step is to buy muffin trays! But for now I'm mixing the flax seed in with some yogurt for breakfast. Every little bit helps right? Week summary coming soon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

BTFC Day 13 - Saturday

Day 13

  • Breakfast - Sausage/Potato/Asparagus Hash (+1)
  • Lunch - Coffee (+1)
  • Dinner - Hot Dog, Barqs (-1)
Sleep - 1:30 am to 10:30 am - 9 hours - (+1)
Exercise - None (-1)
Day Score: +1
Weight: 224.2

Holy crap my weight went up! I didn't drink THAT much pop. My weight fluctuates like nothing else. More inspiration to work harder? Or a slow decline into failing at BTFC. ONLY TIME WILL TELL. Also I completely forgot about my week goals and I have a feeling it's not going so great. Personally I blame a lack of planning. And commitment. And sleep. And any number of other excuses.

Disappointed face.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

node.js and the mySQL Library Part II - mySQL Function Row Values

Okay so last time I mentioned these two things, it was the super-noobie question of how to access object variables. Surprisingly, I'm answering the same question again today.

This time is slightly different, last time it was just really simple field names like "lastName". But what if you make a more complex query using one of the built in mySQL functions? In my case I had a Date Time value, and only wanted the time. Instead of trying to parse the string manually, I used the inbuilt mysql function "TIME".

This was further complicated by my query being an inner join. It looked kinda like this:
SELECT TIME(p.joinTimeStamp), a.accountNumber FROM accounts a INNER JOIN people p ON p.ID = a.ID;
So to get this information out of the nodejs mysql library I tried
Then I tried adding escape characters
Maybe I need to escape the escape characters?
Yeah, none of it worked because I'm bad at javascript.


rows[ 0 ] [ ' TIME ( p.joinTimeStamp ) ' ]
Learning is fun right?
And for the record node.js is awesome
as is the mysql library I'm using
and this blog post for solving my problem.

Excel Macro Open Workbook Problem

Problem: I have an excel VBA macro that opens a new workbook, but the code stops there - works if I step through it

Super annoying problem in excel. You write some VBA code to do fantastical things, you test it out and it fails as soon as it opens another workbook. First step in the debugging is to step through the code and see where it fails. Obviously it works because you're fantastic at writing code. The next step is to swear at Excel for making your life hell and swear to quit your job and move to the woods. Hill people are happy people right?

Before you get your cast iron pan and axe, try this: Is this macro activated by a keyboard shortcut? Does this keyboard shortcut include the "Shift" key? Change the keyboard shortcut so that it no longer includes a "Shift". Does it work? Yaay!

tl;dr - if the macro stop inexplicably when opening another workbook, try taking the "Shift" out of the keyboard shortcut.

If that doesn't work I can't help you. I'm not very good with VBA (yet).

BTFC Day 12 - Friday

Day 12

  • Breakfast - 1 Muffin (0)
  • Lunch - Lamb Melt, Chips, Cake (-1)
  • Dinner - Cheese/crackers, mussels, Caprisi Salad (-1)
Sleep - 1:30 am to 9:00 am - 7.5 hours (+1)
Exercise -
  • 10 sets of 6 pushups
  • 10 sets of 12 crunches
  • 10 sets of 7 squats
  • 4 sets of 2 negatives
  • +1
Day Score: 0
Weight: 221.2

Yeah! Finally weighed myself again. Too bad it wasn't great news. Oh well at least I did some exercise. Recently I've found that the home workouts aren't stressing my cardio system enough. I can't do more pushups (the last one is a damn struggle), situps might have really bad technique due to getting tired. Maybe I should turn the cycle into 15/5 for those two?

Another problem is that I don't want to be too noisy while doing my workouts. I live on the top floor of a triplex and some exercises (like tuck jumps) are really loud. 200+ lbs coming down is not silent. I'm also too embarrassed to do these exercises outside. Maybe that's just a mental block I'll have to overcome. :(

Friday, August 24, 2012

BTFC Day 11 - Thursday

Day 11

  • Breakfast - Muffin (+1)
  • Snack - 1 muffin, 1 cookie, 1 donut (-1)
  • Lunch - Shawarma (0)
  • Dinner - Chinese Family Dinner (-1)
Sleep - 1:30 am to 7 am - 5.5 hours (-1)
Exercise - Absolutely none
Day Score: -2
Weight: Unknown

Family dinner at a chinese restaurant. Tons of food. BUT! Not that much temptation. I don't know if you're aware of this but Jellyfish is nasty. And there's way too many meats that just...come from animals. I mean that's literally the only thing I know about them. Isn't that a bit weird? "What's that?" "Meat" "Oh.." It's like dialogue from a mildly racist sitcom.

My day scores have been pretty low lately. Being away from how has reduced my ability to prepare lunches and dinners. I've given myself +1 every morning for my breakfast but I'm calling that decision into question now. Store bought muffins aren't that great. And they are made with processed flour. Bad week. Bad bad week so far.

There's only one thing to do - be better tomorrow. If I can stay focused I can do this and meet my goal. I've got 25 lbs of fat to lost. More if I want to gain some muscle mass. Is it possible? Yes. Is it easy? No. Is it healthy? Hopefully.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BTFC Day 10 - Wednesday

Day 10

  • Breakfast: A muffin (+1)
  • Lunch: Curry and ice cream(-2)
  • Dinner: Burger + Ceasar Salad (-1)
Sleep: 9pm - 7 am - 10 hours ( +1)
Exercise: None (0)
Day Score: -1
Weight: Unknown
I went for a nice walk with my girlfriend, that counts as exercise right? Didn't have any damn time and I did the best that I could. Even with skipping most of the items on my daily to do list, I was barely able to get a decent amount of sleep.

There needs to be a trade off between bussing and biking. Right now I'm always bussing to work and getting a lot of reading done (which I really like), the trouble is that there's no "mandatory" exercise in my day. Always bike one way? Bike to work, bus home, bus to work, then bike home? Crazier things have worked. Probably.

BTFC Day 9 - Tuesday

Day 9

  • Breakfast: A muffin (+1)
  • Lunch: Burger + Fries (-2)
  • Dinner: 1 slice pizza, bean wrap (0)
Sleep: 2am - 7:30 am - 5.5 hours ( -1)
Exercise: None (0)
Day Score: -2
Weight: Unknown
I really need to get it together. I've been slipping like nothing else. Not even updating this blog on time right now! Goddamit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BTFC Day 8 - Monday

Day 8

  • Breakfast - Muffin (+1)
  • Lunch - Quinoa, Meatloaf, Veggies (+1)
  • Snack - Cake (-1)
  • Dinner - 2 slices pizza, bean wrap (-1)
  • Snack - Cheese + Crackers (-1)
Sleep - 1 am to 7 am - 6 hours -
Exercise - 20 minutes of Tabata home workout - pushups, ninja tucks, bicycle crunches, low jacks (+1)
Day Score: 0
Weight: Still unknwon

It's been a rough day. I'm going to bed. Better post tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2012

BTFC Week 1 Summary

Yay - one week down!

This would probably be better if I set goals each week that I could review. Week 2 goals at the bottom of this post.

Week one went reasonably well, I managed to exercise 3 out of 7 days (4 times if you count Ultimate). My eating habits weren't the best and weren't the worst. I'm placing a large emphasis on moderation by punishing missed meals on my daily score system. There's also an emphasis on proper sleep (< 6 hours = -1, 6-7 = 0, >7 = +1) because a well rested Engineer is a productive Engineer.

Having meals prepared is a huge help. Currently there are 11 portions of meatloaf/quinoa/veggies in my freezer and I just grab one before heading to work. Since I consider these decently healthy lunches, it's a really easy boost to my progress. Bean wraps for dinner feels pretty good so far. The only hole in the plan is breakfast - I'm debating making a bunch of muffins and - you guessed it - freezing them and chowing down on the way to work. We'll see.

My weight tells a very positive story, but it is a false story. I started at 228.8 and my last weight in showed 8.3 lbs lost. Which is just. Plain. Crazy. I know that a lot of it weight...that got dealt with the next day at work. I don't want to lose 8 pounds a week. That isn't healthy.

Goals I just made up that I accomplished:
  • Exercised 3 out of 7 days
  • Ate right for at least 45% of meals
  • Weight trend downwards

Week 2 Goals

  • Exercise 4 out of 7 days
  • Eat right for 65% of meals
  • Weight trend down
  • Only sleep less than 6 hours once
How is everyone else doing? Keep up the hard work! Or if you're procrastinating/making excuses, get to it fatty!

This week's posts:

BTFC Day 7 - Sunday

Day 7

  • Breakfast - Lamb, Chips (-2)
  • Lunch - None (-1)
  • Dinner - Mac and Cheese (-1)
  • Snack - Cheese and Crackers (-1)
Sleep - 3am to 9:15am - 6.25 hours - (0)
Exercise - Tabata home workout - 10 sets of 6 pushups, 12 situps, 7 squats, 6 crouch/jump/smack knees (I don't know what it's called) (+1)
Day Score: -4

The reason my weight has been unknown the past couple days is because I'm watching my Mom's house and would rather report numbers from only one scale, just to keep things straight. Hopefully when I get back home I'll have some good news on the scale. But not if I keep having days like this. God-damn -4 is a bad score. Is my scoring system too heavy on eating habits? I hope not - what I put into my body is really important. That negative four doesn't feel good man.

One week down. Not the greatest week, but far from the worst (the worst come when I start forgetting that I'm trying to do BTFC). But that won't happen. You guys won't let that happen right? I'm just kidding.

No-one's reading this. And that's okay.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BTFC Day 6

Day 6

  • Breakfast - V8, Cherries (+1)
  • Lunch - Pork belly sandwich (-1)
  • Dinner - Lamb, Cheese bread, Caprisi Salad, Asparagus, Potatoes, Wine, Beer (-3)
Sleep - 1:30 am to 9:30 am - 8 hours - (+1)
Exercise - None
Day Score: -2

So yeah, didn't get the exercise in. But I think it's okay because I spent most of the day celebrating my 2 year anniversary with my girlfriend. You're allowed to make some bad decisions on days like that though, right? Dinner was awesome - probably quite terrible for you, but still awesome. BTFC was the last thing on my mind and that's alright as long as it's not the start of a slide into terrible eating/exercise.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BTFC Day 5

Day 5

  • Breakfast - V8 (0)
  • Lunch - Meatloaf, Quinoa, Veggies (+1)
  • Dinner - 1 Slice Pizza, 1 Bean Wrap (0)
Sleep - 1am to 7:15am - 6.25 hours - (0)
Exercise - None
Day Score: +1
Weight: 220.5 @ 9:00 pm

The exercise definitely seems to be dropping off eh? Need to get back on that - need to exercise on Day 6 or else I'm way off. I should be exercising at least 4 out of every 7 days, right? My current plan is to get into a routine where I work out every day, switching between Tabata Cardio and Tabata Muscles. A big part of getting to that goal is managing to wake up every day to follow my planned schedule.

General Day Schedule

  • 6:00 - Awake
  • 6:00-6:45 - Breakfast, Tabata, Shower
  • 6:45-7:30 - Bike or Bus to work
  • 7:30-5:00 - Work
  • 5:00-5:30 - Go Home
  • 5:30-7:00 - Dinner, Chores, Relax on the Internet
  • 7:00-9:00 - To-Do List
  • 9:00-10:00 - Secondary Exercise (if possible)
  • 10:00-11:30 - To-Do List
  • 11:30 - Asleep
Obviously this is a non-ideal schedule. On the days where I'm very very tired I can cut the secondary exercise and go to bed earlier. For the record, to-do list items include everything and anything from grocery shopping to cooking to writing some code.
I'll post how to wake a heavy sleeper later. Good luck other BTFCers!

Friday, August 17, 2012

BTFC Day 4

Day 4

  • Breakfast - 2 Bites Meatloaf, V8 Juice (+1)
  • Snack - donut, cookie, banana (-1)
  • Lunch - Chicken Salad Sandwich, Orange Juice (+1)
  • Dinner - 2 slices pizza, meat loaf, quinoa, vegetables (-1)
Sleep - 2am to 7am - 5 hours - (-1)
Exercise - None (-1)
Day Score: -2
Weight: 223.8 @ 11:30 pm

Man I hate days where I don't get a chance to exercise (part of that was extreme tired-ness on my part. Maybe laziness. Anyway, clearly not a good day in any regard. I slept, ate and exercised wrong. I could list all the excuses but they would remain excuses. At least my weight is a reasonable number considering where it was a week ago.

Chin up.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

BTFC Day 3

Day 3

  • Breakfast - Half chicken breast, cherries, V8 juice (+1)
  • Lunch - Meatloaf, Quinoa, Veggies, Cherries - Free Salad + Lasagna (-1)
  • Dinner - 2 Bean Wraps, Cherries (+1)
Sleep - 12:30am to 7am - 6.5 hours - (0)
Exercise - Tabata home workout - 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. 10 sets of push ups, sit ups, squats and clean-n-pushes. I managed 5 pushups per set, 15 situps, 8 squats and 3 clean-n-pushes per set on average. (+1)
Day Score: +2
Weight: 218.8 @ 8:30 pm

Okay, so I know it looks like I lost 10 lbs in 3 days. But that's not entirely accurate because my weight does commonly flucuate by up to 5 lbs. I would say I haven't lost any weight yet - I haven't been doing this long enough. Maybe I weighed in at my peak and today was at my low? We'll see where it's at tomorrow.

Either way, I'm going to keep trying. I have a bad feeling that Day 4 is not going to be nearly as successful (since I am writing this on Day 4 this isn't psychic - it's fact).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BTFC Day 2

Day 2

  • Breakfast: None (-1)
  • Lunch: Meatloaf, Quinoa, Veggies (+1)
  • Dinner: Meatloaf, Pineapple (+1)
  • Post-Dinner: 1/2 Chicken Breast (0)
Sleep: 1 am to 7:15 am - 6 hours 15 minutes (0)
Exercise: HIIT Running (5 minutes 20/10, 2.5 minutes 15/15 x2) (+2)
Day Score: +3
Weight: 223 lbs @ 11pm

Things are looking up, I ran my ass off last night which really felt good. I guarantee it was a better workout than Ultimate the day before. Also, there was no late night "terrible for you" snack. The chicken was cooked with dinner but saved because my hunger was satiated.

I'm trying to build a routine, I'll post it once it's actually formalized.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Meatloaf is a frugal staple, but since I have never cost analyzed it before it was a surprise how good it was. The ladyfriend found this recipe so we made it this weekend. We made a triple recipe and it worked out really well. Breakdown below.

  • Ingredients - Cost

  • Ground Beef - 4lbs - $11.12
  • Eggs - 3 - $0.80
  • Onions - 3 - $0.75
  • Milk - 2 cups - $2.50
  • Bread Crumbs - 3 cups - $1.00
  • Others - $1.00
Total Cost: $17.17
Total Servings: 18

I love getting things to under a dollar a serving. Next time I could make my portions smaller and get the number of total servings even higher.

Things I did to Frugal it

First, I didn't use as much meat as the recipe said - this was mainly due to the largest pack at the grocery store being 4 lbs not the 4.5 lbs necessary. I skimped on the milk due to logitistical reasons as well. Milk tends to go unused at my place so I opted for too little instead of too much, frankly it worked out pretty damn well. The best one was the bread crumbs. Instead of paying $2.78 for pre-made bread crumbs, I bought bread that was on sale, dried it out in the oven and shredded it with a cheese grater. From there the question is how much gas did I waste? Honestly I don't know, I may have been net negative - I hope not.

Soon I will be tracking my net present value and posting that - gotta keep the motivation up to get out of the red and into financial independence zone!

Hope all other frugallers are doing well!

BTFC Day 1

Okay, so I've joined the Reddit BTFC competition. I signed up on Monday the 13th so today is technically my second day. To keep my motivation up (and actually blog a little) I'm going to be posting about my progress everyday - but there's going to be a 1 day lag.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: None (-1)
  • Lunch: Meatloaf, Quinoa and Vegetables (+1)
  • Dinner: Shwarma (0)
  • Post-Dinner: 1 beer, 2 hot pockets (-1)
Sleep: From 1:15am to 7:15am - 6 hours. (-1)
Exercise: Ultimate (+1)
Day Score: -1
Weight: 227 lbs @ 11:30pm

Overall my first day was a small loss. Skipping breakfast is generally not good because your body never gets kick-started into burning calories and you get far hungrier as the day goes on. Personally this leads to over-eating towards the end of the day, which is the opposite of what I want to be doing.

The day's exercise was pretty good. Ultimate is like doing High Intensity Interval Training if you do it right. Unfortunately my shifts weren't long enough to get a good workout out of it. Still made myself sweat and scored 3 points, so that's better than nothing right?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

node.js and the mysql library

Okay, so as the title suggests, this isn't a frugal post. It's a programming post about the javascript thingy "node.js" and the related library "mysql" for interfacing with, you guessed it, mySQL databases. Revolutionary stuff.

If you don't care about any of those words, stop reading cause it's boring. If you came here because you googled "node.js mysql row data how the fuck?" then you had the same problem I had. The github post for the mysql library is very good, but leaves out a tiny piece of information: how to actually extract information from your query results.

The github page I'm referring to is here. It's a very handy library and I am not dissing it at all.

Enough talk, just answers. Say you make the following query:

connection.query('SELECT firstName, lastName FROM nameTable', function(err, rows, fields) { // things happen });

Which loosely translates to "Give me all the first names and last names in the table called nameTable and process them using function". Say you get back 100 records (which you can check using 'row.length' fun fact), how do you look at the first name of the 50th record?

Simple: row[49].firstName

That's it. Just record number (where 0 is the first record) '.' then field name.

I may be a dumbass for taking several hours to crack this, but it felt good and I'm sure someone else out there is new to javascript and needs a little push in the right direction.

Hope this helps.

And if anyone who likes frugal things is still reading: homemade paintings are a great way of classing up your home on the cheap!