You guys, I have a teenager. That is really weird.

I feel like Samuel is a good kid to ease into the whole parenting teenagers thing. He's responsible and relatively level-headed. He has a desire to be obedient and is fiercely defensive of his family. And he recently switched from taekwondo to krav maga, so that defense is also literal.

He's not fond of being photographed right now, however, so you get to see him with his siblings. Happy birthday, Samuel. I honestly could not hope for a better son.

Kneezy Does It

Okay, I'm running out of knee puns to use as titles for posts.

Last week I had the arthroscopic knee surgery that I had wanted to get for a while. It turns out I'm really close to my out-of-pocket insurance max this year, so the $10k operation should cost no more than $300. So it made sense.

It was interesting. I went to the hospital, they shaved part of my leg (a first for me), and then I was in and out within about an hour. I didn't get to talk to the doctor, so I'll have to wait for the follow-up next week to see what he has to say about how much damage there was.

The recovery has been... well, I have nothing to compare it to. I used crutches off and on for the first two days or so, but I was allowed to put weight on it even right after the surgery. It was just removing some damaged cartilage from the knee cap, rather than repairing a tendon or something major. That being said, it's been really swollen and pretty uncomfortable. Not much pain, though, and I decid…

Seduction Deduction

Sometimes it's fun to see little clues around in your daily life and try to paint a picture with them, Sherlock Holmes style. I had one such experience on Saturday while I was out for a run.

I often see beer cans or liquor bottles on the side of the road, and this day was no exception. There was the usual assortment of evidence of alcoholism. But among the brown weeds and grass, something red caught my eye. As I ran past, I could just make out what appeared to be lacy underwear. So I figured someone had an exciting night.

And I continued on. Then, about 2/3 of a mile further down the road, I saw what was unmistakably a pregnancy test. Ah, the plot thickens. That exciting night has consequences.

That was all for now. But in 9 months I'm going to make sure to run down the same road and see if there are any discarded diapers.

Free from Sugar Free

Well, I made it—30 days with little sugar. Here's a quick review of the experiment parameters.

I had no desserts except for some sugar-free jello and pudding, and I tried a little sugar-free candy and cookies a few times. There was sugar in some of my meals, but I avoided it as much as I could. I didn't do things like pancakes and syrup, and aside from two bowls of Frosted Mini Wheats during the whole month I stayed away from cereal.I tracked the calories in everything I ate, using the myfitnesspal app. I stayed under the 2,140 recommended calories every day, often by at least a couple hundred calories.To increase my base metabolic rate and try building lean muscle I did about a 15-minute bodyweight workout routine each morning. I have been pretty faithful about this since June. I also continued running the usual three days a week, including three half marathons on the weekends.I increased my protein intake to 120 grams a day, with more on the days I did running.
The results:


Day 23

Just a quick update on the Great Sugar Experiment. It's day 23 and I've still been able to stick to the rules. Interestingly, even with no added sugar or desserts I am still averaging around 50 grams of sugar a day just in the meals I'm eating. It's well below the 80 g allowed by the app (more on the days I run), but you can see how things are not the greatest in the modern diet. There have been a few serious temptations, like when Katie made brownies and frosting from scratch, but I have persevered. There are actually some good sugar-free desserts like Jello pudding that I've been enjoying. And, of course, fresh fruit.

I've also been sticking with the protein goal as well, getting at least 120 g almost every day. I've also done my basic strength exercises six days a week and run three times per week (including half marathons the last three Saturdays). And I haven't yet gone over the total calories I supposedly need to meet my goal of dropping a few pou…

You're the Best

I think we all need to feel superior to other people in some way. Not necessarily anything big, but in small, everyday experiences. It's more psychological security than anything malicious, and if we learned the ways other people felt superior to us we would probably laugh.

I just had one of those experiences when I used a public restroom and the water that was coming out of the sink was warm. For some weird reason I almost always wash my hands with cold water, even in the winter. It probably goes back to my weird ideas about choosing to experience discomfort.

(Tangent: I swear I've posted about this before, but I can't find it. One of the things I like about running, especially if it's too cold or too hot to be sensible, is that it exposes me to uncomfortable conditions that we don't experience very often in life. We're so used to constant comfort that having to experience any real hardship would be even more difficult for us. So I strap on the ice spikes and …

The Great Sugar Experiment

Well, it seems I've posted about this before here and here. But I've been worried about my weight again lately, in part due to a very long course of Prednisone (like 8 months), which causes an appetite increase and subsequent weight gain. So that number was ticking up a little more than I would have liked, and I thought I'd give it another shot to go without sugar. I started that on August 26, with the goal of lasting one month. This time, however, there are a couple different goals in play here.

First, I wanted to stop having any sugary treat or dessert. I'm not worrying as much about the sugar that is in the meals I eat, but I'm not adding sugar to anything, and I'm avoiding things I know are high in sugar like most breakfast cereal.

Second, I came across an article online discussing protein intake for runners, and after a little more research discovered that I'm definitely on the low end of what I should probably be getting. A couple months ago I also go…