Saturday, May 3, 2014

I'm BACK!

I know it has been a long time since I have posted anything on my blog, but I am back!!!! *crickets chirp* HEY! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!!!!! I need applause to survive! Okay, that's not true, but I thought it was funny. *sulks*

So, my second semester in the American Sign Language interpreting program is coming to a close and I am exhausted, but I only have one final left, which I am sure I will survive. Go me! This semester I also took am imaginative writing class, and maybe once I have worked out the last revisions for my final portfolio I will post some of the pieces I wrote. Until then... you can enjoy some of the recent videos that I have posted on YouTube, and wait with bated breath for me to post more interesting things. *HUGS*

These first two videos have English captions:





Here is a video from my ASL Channel:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Progress Update 3

Our Little Family

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Furry Titan

I have always been an animal person, and since I got my first dog at 13 years old I was hooked! Since then I have pretty much always owned a dog. My first dog was a Sheltie named Shelly (she came with the name), and we spent so many wonderful times together. We would visit the old folks home, train and compete in dog agility, play fetch, and just hang out together. She was my buddy.

When my ex wife and I were married we had many different pets along the way, and after Shelly had lived to a ripe old age we had to let her go, which was very hard. With Shelly off at Rainbow Bridge my ex-wife's Pug Gus was a little lonely so we decided to find him a new friend, and this was found in a boxer puppy named Bo (Aka Sir Humphrey Bogart). Bo and I bonded immediately, which wasn't a surprise since he spent all his time either in my lap, or at my feet while he was a little puppy. When I was struggling with the idea of coming out of the closet, and when I was in a pretty dark place in my life Bo was there for me. I would talk to him, cuddle him, and I often cried on his little puppy face. He was an amazing dog. Shortly after the separation  I was going to need to move, and had it not been for Michael I don't know where I would have lived. Unfortunately, the apartment complex didn't allow large dog or certain "aggressive breeds", and I didn't have a choice but to find a new home for my Bo Bo. I was able to find a great couple, with kids, and a big yard that wanted to be his new forever home. I was happy that I found a good home for him, but I cried for a while after he was gone, and I still miss the little guy. I have since been in contact with the family and am happy to report that he fit in just right in their little family, which made me feel good.

After living in the apartment complex for a while we came to find that the "size restrictions" on the dogs weren't enforced, and I started to think that maybe I would be able to have a dog again, but with my graveyard schedule I put it out of my mind because I didn't want a dog to suffer with me working 10 hour shifts. However at the beginning of this year my schedule changed for the better. Now that I'm working a normal day schedule, live next door to work, and have the means, the possibility of a dog was strong... and this possibility was sparked to life by Michael.

Michael hadn't ever had a dog, and was more of a cat person, but he knew how much I wanted a dog. While we were out and about last Saturday we stopped at Petsmart, and when looking around he said "I didn't see any dogs that interested me, but I wanted to get you a dog." He saw my light up, and after that I was very excited about the idea. After some talking, and planning we headed over to the Humane Society last night to look around. There had been one dog I had seen on their website, and when I saw that he wasn't good with cats, and since we have a cat named Ricka I wasn't getting my hopes up, but then I saw him.

I don't know if you've been to a Humane Society or the pound, but normally all the dogs are barking at once, and if you approach their kennel they often freak out, jump, bark, etc... But as I approached one kennel I see this beautiful dog happily looking up at me, wagging its little nubby cropped tail, and I couldn't help but smile. Looking at the info card on the kennel I see that his name was Roman, Lab mix (I think with a boxer), he is 2 years old, good with kids and dogs, but there was nothing listed about cats. Just seeing him there I think I had already started to fall in love. We decided that we should take him to one of the outside fenced areas that are used to get to know the dog, and when I returned to his kennel he promptly sat down and politely waited for me to put the leash on him. Look at him, already impressing us!

Once in the play area I started to test the little guy with different things I have picked up working with rescue dogs, dog training, and caring for my own dogs in the past. Health wise he looks amazing, clean ears, good teeth, perfect weight/build, etc. Behavior wise we quickly learned he loved to fetch, tug-o-war, wasn't aggressive with toys or the water dish, and he already knew commands like sit, down, and shake. When other dogs past by his only interest seemed to be the desire to play, even when they barked at him he stayed silent, with the exception of a Basset Hound... but I would have barked at him too, he had the strangest sounding bark I have ever heard! When he got tired he stopped for a drink and then sprawled out on the ground next to Michael in the shade. He seemed like he would be a perfect fit for our little family so we filled out an application to adopt this fun little dude.

After reviewing the application with the humane society staff they seemed to think that we would be a good fit for Roman, but since we had a cat they would have to do a "Cat Test" before we could take him, and that seemed like a good idea. We followed Roman into a room and one of the staff started to play with him to get him excited, and then entered... WOMAN WITH CAT! He didn't seem to care one way or the other about the cat, and when the cat was put down on the floor they sniffed each other for a moment, and almost immediately the cat started rubbing all over him... IT WAS ADORABLE! Roman had passed part one of the test, but since the cat showed no aggression the woman picked up the cat, and faked a hissing noise to see how he would react to cat aggression. He momentarily backed off, looked at the cat like it was crazy, and went off in the other direction to continue playing with the other staff member.... and with that we were approved to go! After filling out some paperwork, we set out with our new family member. When we reached the car to head out he easily jumped in the backseat, and laid down to enjoy the ride. Since he seemed to enjoy other animals and people we didn't hesitate to take him to Petsmart to pick up some supplies on the way home.

After a quick potty break when we got home I lead him into the apartment and let him explore, but I kept him on the leash at first just in case his introduction to Princess Ricka didn't go well. When Ricka first strolled out of the bedroom she puffed up slightly and froze, but she didn't seem super threatened by the dog, just surprised. I took the dog into the living room and sat down with him so she could come in on her own time, which pretty much happened immediately. Ricka approached the new family member and within no time they were sniffing each other, and Ricka rubbed all over him for a few minutes before she returned to her favorite place, laying on the dinning room chairs under the table. I think they are going to be best
of friends.

For the remainder of the evening we played tug-o-war, cuddled, and discussed the possible names for our new friend since he didn't seem partial to the name Roman. We finally settled on the name Kronos... I've been reading "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" series so I have mythology on the brain. I think it suits him. When bed time came he gladly climbed into his new kennel, and curled up to sleep on the blanket that Michael had given him. Come morning he hadn't made a sound, and was well behaved all night. Before heading to work I took him for a walk/potty break, and played with him some while I was eating breakfast. When I left he had curled up on the floor next to the bed where Michael was sleeping, and instead of putting him back in the kennel Michael had him sleep in the room with him to see how Kronos would handle it. Well it was handled very well because Michael woke up next to a sleeping cat, and a pup who was sleeping with his head laying on Michael's stomach. I wish I had been there to take a picture :-)

I went home for a quick lunch to check on Kronos and Ricka, and to take him out for a potty break, and everything was fine. We can't wait for the work day to finish so we can go home and play with the kids.

Thanks for joining me guys!

Greg

Weightloss Update!

This last week has been busy and though I don't feel like I cheated at
all on my diet, I felt like I maybe splurged a little bit on my
approved snack foods. I wasn't super excited to get on the scale, but
when I finally did I saw that I had dropped from 370.4 lbs on 06/07/12
to 367.6 lbs on 06/25/12 which means I lost 2.8 lbs! At first I
thought "Awwww man, only 2.8 lbs" because I was comparing to last
weeks 4 lbs, but then I realized that almost 3 lbs in a week is
amazing, and I know that I can keep it up.

I will have more to come later, but we have a new furry buddy and I
think he will encourage Michael and I to walk more :-)

Hope to talk to you again soon guys....

Greg

*HUGS*

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Support and Accountability

I have worked on losing weight so many times during my life and most
of the time I failed miserably, but my most successful stint of weight
loss and being healthy was when I had moved away to go to school. When
I was successful there were several things that made it easier to
succeed, such as being a poor college student so I couldn't buy all
the extra junk, living alone so I was in control of what food came
into my house, and the most important was being accountable.

When I was with my ex it was a little harder to stick with things
because I didn't have someone working on healthy eating with me, and I
would have to avoid temptations of bad foods she brought into the
house, which was super hard for me because I lack will power. However
now that I'm more confident, determined, and I have a supportive
partner by my side things are going much better. One thing that I will
take from my past, is finding accountability, and this worked wonders
before.

I can be accountable to myself, Michael, and also find other ways to
be accountable. I can blog about it, tell my friends about it, and as
a mentioned before I have started a Wellness Vlog on YouTube. As a way
of finding more accountability and support on YouTube I have started
networking more by: commenting on weight loss videos, messaging people
who are also on weight loss journeys, and just trying to make friends.

Yesterday I wasn't motivated at all, and although I wasn't running to
the vending machine at work to get M&Ms I was trying to justify not
going to workout after work, which is often easy to do. However I
found some inspiration through YouTube networking *YAY* I was watching
a ShayLoss video with Shay Carland although I had never been too
interested with his vlogs, I enjoy the weight loss videos, and I
also enjoy commenting. There were so many people on there looking for
support, asking questions, etc, and I found it inspiring to interact with people in the comments, and since some of the questions
would go unanswered by Shay, I tried to answer the ones I could. Needless to say I left work super excited to go to the gym, and
I had an amazing workout, which always gives me that warm fuzzy
feeling :-D

What do you guys do to stay accountable and find motivation? I'm
always up for new suggestions. If you haven't already please check out
My Vlog and My Wellness Vlog.

Greg