Blade Runner

They’ve finally remastered and re-released Blade Runner on DVD, on which I’ve spent some of my Christmas HMV vouchers. This is long overdue and the difference between it and the original DVD release is nothing short of remarkable. They’ve remastered the film, added a full 5.1 surround sound track and recut the film itself into “The Final Cut”, adding deleted scenes and reworking some of the special effects.

The result is truly amazing and if you already have Blade Runner on DVD then I promise you that it will be £22 very well spent. The box set also contains the Director’s Cut (as seen on the original DVD release) and the abominable United States theatrical release (the one with the narration deemed necessary to spoon-feed stupid Americans through the film), not that anyone would be interested watching that.


The Amazing Eat Properly and Exercise Diet Plan

As regular readers and pretty much anyone who’s seen me in the flesh at any point over the past year will know, I’ve lost an incredible amount of weight in the thirteen months from the middle of November 2006 until now. I’m delighted to announce that in that time I have lost 3st 12lbs (54lbs total, 24.5kg), so just short of 4 stone. I’m really very happy about this; I look very different to how I looked last Christmas and I feel as good as I look.

Observe the following chart by way of illustration. Note that I only started to keep daily weight and body fat records in April, so the first half of the chart is very linear. I knew what I weighed in the middle of November 2006 but have no intermediate data between then and April.

Weight loss since November 2006

Weight loss since November 2006

As you can see I am now very comfortably within healthy ranges for both weight and body fat after previously suffering dramatic excess in both regards. So what’s the secret? As I’ve said before, there really is no rocket science or witchcraft involved. It’s a simple question of eating properly (not “dieting”, as such) and getting regular and effective exercise. It really does work!

My diet is low carbohydrate, low fat, low sugar and high protein. My metabolic type dictates this and it transpires that it’s not actually that necessary for my diet to be low fat, it just so happens that I don’t particularly like fatty foods. The important aspects are that it must be low-carb and that the number of calories ingested in a daily basis must not exceed the resting metabolic rate plus whatever exercise I may do. I avoid foods such as bread, rice, pasta and cereals as these all have high amounts of carbohydrates.

I eat lots of fruit (apples and bananas in particular), meat, eggs, some vegetables (because although I know they’re good for me I’ve never been that mad on them) and I stick to calorie free versions of fizzy drinks (Diet Coke and Coke Zero in particular) when I’m not drinking water. I’ve also cut back on the alcohol, usually restricting it only to weekends and never binge drinking or getting drunk.

My anal attention to detail regarding the gathering, storage and processing of statistics has allowed me to conduct reasonable calculations relating to how I have lost the weight. I keep an accurate record of physical activity, including gym activity and walking. I do a lot of walking since I have no car, live in a city and make extensive use of public transport, so its impact on my fitness is considerable.

I record my physical activities in terms of the estimated number of calories used, which can be reasonably accurately calculated. When doing cardio work in the gym the cardio machines actually tell you how many calories you burn, so that’s easy. For weights and resistance work I use a rough estimate of 2 calories per repetition, which averages out over light reps and heavy reps. Then for walking I calculate the calories based on a reasonable estimation of 300 calories per hour at a normal pace. Research on the Internet suggests that all these estimations are reasonable.

So, during the period in question I have used a total of 62,455 calories through exercise. I also know that I have lost 54lbs in weight. It’s an established fact that 1lb of fat equates to approximately 3,500 calories (that is, to lose 1lb of body fat, one’s body must burn 3,500 calories). 54lbs therefore equates to 189,000 calories, that is, I have created a calorie deficiency of 189,000 over 13 months in order to lose 54lbs of weight.

If I’ve burnt 62,455 calories through exercise then that leaves 126,545 calories lost through eating properly (because “dieting” really is the wrong term). From these figures I’m therefore able to extrapolate the following chart, showing the proportionate methods of weight loss and the number of pounds lost through each method:

Lb loss per activity

Lb loss per activity

My plans for the new year is to not lose any more weight but to concentrate fully on reducing my body fat. I need to maintain my weight, and even put some back on, but keep reducing my body fat by concentrating more on the resistance training and less on the cardio. The eating habits will stay pretty much the same although I will likely have to eat even more protein than I already am.

Yay me, frankly. I’ve worked hard for this an I deserve it. I look good and I feel good and I seem to get a lot more attention these days because of it!


Parenthood is a lifestyle choice

There was this bloke who wrote into Metro the other week recounting a tale of how he, a disabled person (the exact nature of his disabilities were not divulged), had bought a first class train ticket. He didn’t absolutely have to travel in first class, it was possible for him to travel in standard class, but he choses to do so because it’s easier for him to get around the first class cabin than it is the standard class cabin. First class rail tickets cost a fortune, but to him the benefits of such a ticket were worth it.

On a recent train journey he shared the first class cabin with a young mother with a child in a push-chair, who was boasting to an apparently unrelated fellow passenger about how she had received a free upgrade from the train staff because she had a child in a push-chair. This enraged the author of the letter, because this woman had received a free upgrade to first class due to self-inflicted inconvenience brought about by her decision to have a child, whereas his disability was most certainly not acquired by choice and yet no such preferential treatment was extended to him.

Frankly, he had every right to be enraged. It’s rapidly becoming a common perception that parents are somehow “disabled” because of their offspring and are thus being afforded luxuries such as “parent and child” parking spaces outside the entrance to supermarkets, fast-track priority boarding on aircraft (presumably so the child can practice the crying that it intends on doing for the whole flight) and now, apparently, free first class rail ticket upgrades.

Let’s make no mistake here, with very very few exceptions, the decision to have a chid is entirely voluntary. It is something that you inflict upon yourself, you’re making a rod for your own back, both financially and practically, and your offspring should be nobody else’s responsibility but your own. You should not be entitled to special treatment at the expense of others, especially those who’ve chosen NOT to contribute to the planet’s vastly unsustainable population growth. It was your choice and if you’re not up to dealing with the consequences of your decision then you perhaps should have not procreated in the first place.

Having to support other peoples’ kids through funding child benefit is galling enough, but to be told of by some busybody in a supermarket car park for parking in a parent and child parking space when no other spaces are available is a step over the line, in my opinion. Also, is it really that unreasonable to park in such spaces after 9.00pm when all children of the age that would possibly benefit from the extra space either side of their mothers’ Renault Scenics should be in bed? I don’t think so.

My mother fared perfectly well when myself and my younger brother were young without parent and child parking spaces or any other concession. This was also in the days before large, out of town supermarkets with giant car parks; my mother had to go to the Sainsbury’s in Woking town centre and park in the multi-storey car park, where the lifts rarely worked and when they did they were always jammed full of people. Did she complain? No, because she was thankful that she could do the weekly shop in just one store. To hell with the parking arrangements.

It seems that modern parents these days think that they have it hard, as if they’re the first generation of humans that’s had to procreate, and that everyone should lend them a hand to help cope with their insurmountable, self-matyring task that they feel has been forced upon them. The truth is, quite like their pampered, ignorant offspring, they don’t know they’re fucking born. Having children is a lifestyle choice, and just like every lifestyle choice it comes with its costs and disadvantages. I was going to ask if there were special parking spaces for fat people, but since most fat people consider themselves disabled these days one might argue that there actually are, but that’s a whole different, yet strikingly similar, argument.

If I had my way then parents would be made to bear the full cost of their children. There would be no child benefit; indeed it would be replaced by a tax on third and subsequent children. The planet’s population growth is unsustainable in almost every country and yet governments absolutely depend on it in order for their economies to work, since most welfare states are essentially giant, long-term pyramid schemes, which require ever increasing numbers contributing at the lower levels in order to work. One day that’s going to come to a cataclysmic, apocalyptic end, at which point the availability of parent and child parking spaces will be the least of anyone’s worries.

So shut the hell up when I park in your sacred car parking spaces, and stop blocking up the aisles of Sainsbury’s Local with your fucking 4-wheel-drive push-chair containing what is quite obviously an able-bodied but fucking lazy five year old. Don’t take your kids to a restaurant of any standard above McDonalds until they’ve learnt to behave themselves in public and not sit in their chair and scream through their meal. Stop spending your child benefit on lottery tickets, I worked hard to give you that money that you perceive to be free; and don’t let your fucking uncontrollable kids sit on the escalator in front of me, blocking my path while you coo and fawn over them and tell them how cute they look together “like that”. I’ll wager that you let your kids go out on October 31st and bang on strangers’ doors demanding money and sweets too, whilst the rest of the year round engaging in precautions bordering on paranoia concerning their health and safety, most likely causing great inconvenience of some description to everybody else.

Think of the children!? No, that’s your job. Deal with it yourself. I make my bed a different way, you don’t get to lie in it just because you don’t like the way you’ve made yours. Not my problem. I didn’t ask you to have children.


An easier way to pay!

What is it with organisations to which the general public are forced against their will to pay money and their apparent belief that to win the hearts of their reluctant “customers” all they have to do is to make it easier for them to make their embittered remittance, instead of doing what they actually would like to see and make such remittance smaller and more affordable in the first place?

I am of course speaking about organisations such as H. M. Revenue and Customs, local councils, train operating companies, energy firms and indeed any entity to whom paying money is virtually unavoidable. Nobody likes giving money to any of these organisations and almost all of them charge over the odds for whatever it is they purport to provide, whether it’s tax or a train ticket, and giving money to these extortionists is a bitter and resentful process.

Making it “easier” (through exotic and modern payment methods) to pay the extortion demanded is not what people want. Making it more affordable to do so is. So don’t try to tell me that you’re doing me a favour and making my life easier by allowing me to pay my taxes online using my fucking Oyster card or whatever, it won’t fucking wash.