- I finally got around to taking a couple pics of the Turkish socks. Except they're not Turkish, but Bosnian, and Don bought them from a woman who insisted they were mittens, even though they're clearly socks, with a heel rather than a thumb (and I think you were right, JJ, about it being German cast-on). See for yourselves.
I'm thinking the woman may have been Elbonian.
- On my way in to work yesterday afternoon, I heard an interview with Arianna Huffington about an initiative she's involved in to encourage people to move their banking away from large banks and toward small local banks and credit unions. They've put together a clever little video:
My preference for the past 20+ years has been to use credit unions wherever I could. As member-owned institutions, credit unions have a strong incentive to a) keep their money invested locally and b) look out for the best interests of their members, since an account holder is quite literally a shareholder.
- I started a major cleaning task on Saturday, clearing out the kitchen alcove which has nominally been my "home office" space, but which has really just been a dumping ground for all sorts of crap for far too long. In the process of cleaning, I went through a stack of mail that had been tucked away for, well, about 8 months. In that pile was a copy of the bloodwork I had to have run when I applied for life insurance.
Because I'd never seen this envelope, I had just assumed there were no issues with my cholesterol, even though it's something I've been a bit concerned about and have mentioned here before. Turns out I should have been worrying more. My HDL was up, which was an improvement but still not good enough, but my LDL was even more up. In fact, it was kind of scary high. Since my weight is actually slightly higher than it was then and I know that my cholesterol actually varies with my weight, I'm a little afraid to think about where it is currently.
Anyway, it was a good reminder that I need to lose some serious weight, ASAP. So I started looking around online for resources to help track caloric intake, activity, etc. I've used ediets.com in the past and have looked at Weight Watchers, but they both cost $18/month, which is a bit much when you really need to be economizing. Then I ran across FitDay, which has tiered access - a free site for entering foods eaten and tracking calories, weight loss, etc., and a premium service that's ad-free and offers more tools for tracking nutritional goals and health. The premium option was only $5.49/month billed for a full year, and $65 sounded like a much better deal to me than $216 so I went ahead and sprang for it.
So far I'm liking it. It doesn't do meal plans or try to sell meal plans like the other sites, so you're expected to set your own goals in as much or as little detail as you'd like. They do have a calculator that tells you what your approximate daily caloric usage is and what caloric deficit you need to lose weight on a desired schedule, but you can decide what your target is for the proportions of fat, carbs, & protein you want to meet that caloric goal. It's also fairly customizable, so you can track the measurements that are most meaningful to you.
Of course, a tool is only useful if you actually use it, but seeing those cholesterol numbers was a pretty big wake-up call. My goal is to lose 41# in the next 5 months, which is entirely doable. I just need to keep reminding myself that it's my ticket out of a whole lot of badness.