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May 2007

The Else by They Might Be Giants

theelsetmbg.jpgI don't know when my love of They Might Be Giants started. It might have been thanks to Greg, a friend of mine whom I haven't spoken to in years. I seem to recall listening to Flood at his house and being hooked. That was at least 15 years ago, and TMBG (that's They Might Be Giants to those in the know) remain my all time favorite band.


Their songs have a goofy enthusiasm that I enjoy, which might explain why I am awake at 1:30am listening to their latest effort, 'The Else' (iTunes is playing The Shadow Government at the moment). Over at TUAW I wrote that TMBG were releasing The Else exclusively on iTunes a good while before it would be available in stores. Luckily (?) I couldn't fall asleep tonight, so I was able to download the album minutes after it was available on iTunes.

I'm digging The Else so far, but it'll take a few listens for me to have a fully fleshed out opinion of the album. I'm Impressed, the first track, is really groovy.

A shuffle a day give away at TUAW


I don't usually talk about TUAW stuff here at Blankbaby, but since I know you folks like free stuff I thought you might want to know about this. All this week we're giving away an iPod Shuffle a day. All you have to do is leave a comment on the day's post and you're entered!

We start off with a gray shuffle... what color will tomorrow bring? I'll never tell (and, in fact, I don't know!). At the moment there are 535 comments on the entry. Sweet!



I'm a huge Star Trek nerd, but not as huge as you might think. Here are a list of things that I have never done, in relation to Star Trek:

  • I have never worn a Starfleet Uniform
  • I have never dressed up as a Klingon, or any other alien on Star Trek
  • I have never attended a Star Trek convention
  • I have never met any of the actors that have appeared on any of the shows

This all goes to show that while I am a big Star Trek fan I am not a crazy Star Trek fan. That being said, I really want these action figures. Make it so (hahaha, ahhh, get it?).

Sadly, they will only be available at Comic Con, and I won't be going to it. What's a geek to do?

Treadmill man

Exercise, the bane of every fat man’s existence. I have been successfully shedding pounds, and I make no bones about the fact that exercise has been the key to it all. Sure, I have been eating a little better, but I have been working out like a mofo.

Over the last 8 months I have been doing one thing at the gym, the elliptical. I started off barely being able to stay on the damned thing for 5 minutes, and now… drum roll please… I am doing 30 minutes on the elliptical 5 times a week. Let me tell you, I ain’t strolling along on that damned thing either, I’ve been doing at least 4 miles in those 30 minutes. It really makes a guy sweat (and fat guys sweat with the best of ‘em).

The other day Joe was at the gym, pursuing his Joe Gets Fit Plan, and he challenged me to a treadmill race. A race! No man worth his salt can refuse a man to man challenge and despite my many misgivings about the treadmill, which included:

  • I just spent 30 minutes going 4 miles on an elliptical machine, would this be pushing it?

  • When I first starting doing the elliptical machine it frightened the crap out of me. Would I fall off of it? Would I hurt myself? Imagine those fears amplified several times. The elliptical isn’t a giant conveyor belt of Doom. I have seen more than my fair share of treadmill launched iPods smashed against the cruel, unforgiving gym floor. Imagine me in the place of that iPod, and you can imagine what I was thinking.

  • Running, what’s it good for?

I accepted Joe’s challenge. With a little help I figured out how to operate the treadmill and I jogged a little (I won’t say who won the race, but I did).

That, dear readers, is how a few minutes on the treadmill has entered into the official Scott Gets Fit training regimen. At the moment I am only doing 5 minutes on the treadmill (after 30 minutes on the elliptical) but soon enough I’ll be running for longer and longer.

A note to Philadelphia's street population

I don't want to make light of the homeless situation here in Philadelphia. There are lots of homeless people in this fine city, and I am sure there are a myriad of reasons why this is the case. As you might expect, some of Philadelphia's homeless population ask passersby for change for food (or what have you).

I've live in Philly for awhile now, but at heart I'm still a New Yorker and as such I have no problem ignoring/saying no to panhandlers. However, I guess I have a kind face or look like a sucker as most panhandlers see me as an easy mark, so I often get many requests for money.

A good tactic for begging is trying to create some sort of a bond, either real or imagined. Someone who looks kindly upon you will have a harder time saying no. I get this. Sadly, most people who ask me for money often take the wrong tact.

Picture this: It is a spring day in Philadelphia. Our hero Scott (that's me!) is walking across Rittenhouse Square with a song in his heart and a spring in his step. As he meanders across the square a fellow makes eye contact and initiates conversation. It is clear to Scott that the man wants money.

'Hey, big guy! Have any spare change?'

And there you have it. Panhandlers of all types call me 'big guy' in the hopes that I will look upon this nickname with fondness and take out my big guy wallet with a grin on my big guy face and give them all my big guy money and be on my big guy way (no doubt to a big guy destination).

Here's a tip, Philly homeless people, drawing my attention to the fact that I am a 'big guy' isn't a service I consider worth paying for. Generally speaking, pointing out someone's shortcomings isn't the path to riches (Dr. Phil is an outlier here). When you see a short guy do you call out, 'Hey! Short stuff! Gimme money!'

I bet you don't.

In conclusion, if you want me to give you money don't call me fat. And you can take that to the big guy bank.

80 pounds gone, Phase 1 done

You might have noticed that I have reached my first goal of 80 pounds weight lose, but did I do it in 8 months? I actually hit 303 early in April, but I was just too darned busy to post about it. All told, I lost 80 pounds in 7.5 months, but then I hovered around 303 for awhile. I then proceeded to take a few weeks off of exercising (though I still watched what I ate) and managed to keep the weight off.

Tuesday, May 1st 2007 marked the start of Phase 2 (and you'll notice an updated progress meter on Scott Gets Fit, if you visit the website that is). My goal for Phase 2? 40 pounds in 8 months which will bring the total weight shed to 120 pounds over 16 months, which I think is pretty good.

3 pounds down, 37 to go!


I never thought 2 tenths would make me a very happy man, but it has. Today I found myself at the gym and on the scale and a big thing happened. I am (or was) less then 300 pounds for the first time in well over a decade.

This is huge (and I am not as huge as I once was!).

Who would have thought that diet and exercise would have such a positive impact on my life. Someone really needs to get the word out about that stuff.



A blogging unconference in Philadelphia? Could it be possible? Why, bless my britches, not only is it possible but it is going to be happening. That's right, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and uwishunu (a blog that they run/sponsor) have just announced BLOGPHILADELPHIA (which I am guessing is supposed to be capitalized). I'm excited, and I wonder if they'll ask me to sit on a panel. I mean, I'm probably one of the few Philadelphia bloggers that is a real live Pro at it (I can think of a few others). Oh, and BLOGPHILADELPHIA folks, if you need help planning this shindig, let me know.

Though, if I were in charge of the event I would have called it Blogadelphia, and not just because I own (though that is a point in the name's favor, however, I would gladly donate the domain).

ComputerWorld likes TUAW


Some of you know that I’m the Lead Blogger over at TUAW (that’s the Unofficial Apple Weblog to you, buddy), which has meant that Blankbaby has far less Apple related content than it did at one point. I blog with a great bunch of folks over there who are all very enthusiastic users of Apple technology (I don’t think we’re ‘fanboys,’ but then again we probably are). We all enjoy writing about Apple, but I’ll admit that there is a small, but very vocal, minority of commenters on TUAW that aren’t kind. They can sometimes suck all the joy out of blogger (I want to be clear, though, that most of TUAW readers and commenters are great).

ComputerWorld has just listed their top 15 geek blogs and TUAW wasn’t on the list. Fret not, loyal Scott lovers, TUAW was the very first honorable mention. TUAW was left out of the top 15 because of its ‘singular focus.’ Hurrah for us! It is nice to have someone notice all your hard work.

Testes... one, two... three?!

Oh, hello, I didn't realize anyone was still reading this! I know, I know, I've been a very bad blogger. You'll be happy to note, though, that blogging isn't the only area of my life that I have been neglecting! I am, as my mother would say, a piss poor person (mom has a soft spot for alliteration).

Anywho, I know some of you are wondering what the heck could keep me from blogging for so long and most of you don't really care. Luckily, this is my blog and I'll do with it what I want.

This is what I have been up to:

  • I got a new job! It is at the same place as my old job, in the same department, and doing the same thing... but gosh darned it, it is new to me! Oh, and I'm making more money. This means that I had to spend the last few weeks 'working' to impress my 'boss.' No blogging from work (honest Barry, I didn't write this post at my desk while a CDW order was being discussed. That is, like, the exact opposite of what I did.)
  • I lost 80 pounds! That really should go on Scott Gets Fit (and it will) but I haven't had the energy to post to one blog, let alone 2! I actually reached this goal early last month, but I didn't want to blog about it. Now I need to start on in Scott Gets Fit Phase 2, which means I have to shed 40 pounds in the next 8 months.
  • I was sick most of last week. I mean really sick. I didn't feel well at all, but I still managed to drag my corpse like body to work. Sadly, I had no energy to do anything else. I feel much, much better now. In fact, today will mark my triumphant return to the gym. I'm sure many a gym goer missed seeing me sweat and turn red on the elliptical machine (and that's just me getting on the darned thing).
  • I spent some quality time in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Pictures will be posted to Flickr later tonight.
  • I have been emailing with some Match ladies. That's right, it would seem that the current incarnation of my profile must be slightly less repugnant than former incarnations since people are actually winking/emailing me (and I am winking/emailing back!). More on this breaking story as it develops.

There you go, a Scott update.