Archive for May, 2009

Weight Loss Update

Ok, so a bump in the road.

Last weigh-in I checked in at 265. I was a little bummed because I had only lost 10 lbs. the previous month due to sickness and back problems. Well, this morning I checked in at 273. My weight swings pretty wildly on a day to day basis (2 days ago I was 276 and yesterday I was 270), but the message here is clear: I need to get back on the train of working out regularly (twice a day) and I need to stop snacking.

I need to get down into the 250’s at some point, and it sucks to have to lose weight to get back down to where I was a couple weeks ago first.

Today I re-focus. Begin.

Why Me Weight Loss Tim 28 May 2009 No Comments

Warning: Grumpy Political Rant

Our state government recently took a proactive step in the economic struggle by detailing a number of generous cuts that would be made to wasteful government spending. A prominent member of the Massachusetts Senate stood on the floor and said, “We refuse to raise taxes until all unnecessary spending is eliminated. The burden to taxpayers who face unemployment and reduced retirement funds is high enough. We must look in the mirror first, before considering any kind of tax increase, when dealing with budget shortfalls.” She was then given a 10-minute standing ovation and carried from the hall on the shoulders of her fellow Senators.

Ha. Please excuse me and my pipe dreams. That’s very obviously not how our government works. Instead, the Massachusetts Senate recently voted overwhelmingly to raise the state sales tax by 25% – a move that the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (quoted in The Boston Globe) says will cost the state 12,600 jobs. Those who lose their jobs clearly should be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the greater good – our benevolent government just needs that money more than they do.

The lesson is clear: Given a choice between reducing the size of the government and squeezing the taxpayer, the people who run the government will always opt for the second option. This includes my local Senators, none of whom stood against the tax hikes. Also, this same group has stood idly by year after year and allowed commuters from Central Massachusetts to pay the freight for the Big Dig via the Turnpike – clearly, these are true advocates for their constituents.

But none of this really matters, since all of the Senators who voted for the tax are virtually assured of keeping their seats in the next election – thanks to a huge bloc of Massachusetts voters who just blindly vote to re-elect everyone. These are the same voters who decided overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the income tax, so the chances are that these increases will not only be understood, but welcomed. Joe Biden said that paying taxes is patriotic, and who is more patriotic than we are?

If any of the voters did object, and bothered to ask, the Senators might explain that the state needs this money. After all, they can’t be expected to make cuts first. And, when cuts are made, they’ll certainly have to be in local aid (which, the Boston papers report, will not be helped by these tax increases) before reducing the bureaucracy.

Also, kindly refrain from asking how the money is being spent. The Boston Herald asked about the salaries of the aides and other staff members for these Senators but was denied by a law that exempts the House and Senate from public records laws. The lawmakers will gladly spend your money, but please, don’t ask to see an itemized bill. Everything is being very carefully supervised; just ask them (some Representatives and a couple of Senators did reveal their payrolls voluntarily, but most chose not to cooperate, saying that they were “following the law.”).

Now, in the spirit of fairness, the Senate did vote against two proposed gas tax hikes, and didn’t raise the income tax; but they did vote to repeal the tax exemption for alcohol purchased in package stores. The reason for the exemption was that alcohol is already assigned an excise tax. For alcohol, there will now be a tax on the excise tax. To break it down, the current price I pay for beer is the cost of the beer plus the cost of the excise tax. That total will now be taxed. A tax on a tax, if you will. It’s enough to make any legislator look up from the trough and squeal with glee.

With the government putting so many hands in the pockets of the taxpayer, it’s no small wonder that a recent member of the Senate is accused of increasing her efficiency by skipping the middle man and taking money directly from her constituents and stuffing it into her bra. She was such a respected member of the Senate that Governor Deval Patrick actively campaigned for her re-election, and recorded a message for voter answering machines that called her an “experienced leader on Beacon Hill.” Imagine her surprise when she was arrested by the FBI. I mean, finding new ways to take money from the people is what Senators do, isn’t it?

The fact is that the government is facing budget shortfalls. The money has to come from somewhere. Hard decisions have to be made, and the Senate is stepping up and making those decisions. This type of steely determination was also demonstrated when, despite a failing economy, these same Senators accepted a pay raise in January (again, just “following the law”). Courage is not free, after all.

Rants Tim 21 May 2009 7 Comments

Weight Loss Update

Ok, so I bought myself a week after the 8th to pick up momentum.

I weighed myself Saturday morning and came in at…265. That’s 48 lbs. down from my original weight of 313 lbs.

At 48 lbs. lost, I have raised $1,961.20 for Why Me

I would post a picture, but my wife left our camera at her office and we were busy all weekend, so oh well. It’ll just make the next picture more dramatic.

Halfway done with the challenge and I’m still feeling good. Thank you all for your support.

Why Me Weight Loss Tim 18 May 2009 No Comments

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