Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

95 Pounds in 95 Weeks   1 comment

On May 23, 2010, I weighed 465 pounds.  Yes, that is correct, four hundred sixty-five pounds.  It was only by the grace of God that I did not have major cholesterol, blood sugar, triglyceride, or other serious problems.  Two days later, I had adjustable gastric banding surgery. My original goal was to lose 200 pounds in four years, which would get me down to 265, and then reassess the potential for further weight loss.  The good news is that so far I have lost 105 pounds.  The bad news is that it has taken me 242 weeks to do so.

I have relied too much on the restrictive properties of the band to lose the weight and not enough on changing my diet and exercise habits.  I don’t want to take another 200+ weeks to lose the last 95 pounds, and in many ways I really can’t afford to do so.

I have made a promise, to God, to my myself, and to my wife to lose those 95 pounds in 95 weeks or less.  I really think I can do it in 64 weeks, but my promise is to be at or below (and stay at or below) 265 pounds by November 3, 2016.  A good reference for this date is that it is five days before the 2016 Presidential Election.  Notice that my promise did not say that I am going to try to do this.  As a very wise man once said, “Try not.  Do . . . or do not.  There is no try.”



Posted January 9, 2015 by Andrew Cabiness in Family

Pomp and Circumstance   Leave a comment

Personal posts about myself and my family are generally reserved for Facebook where the audience is a bit more controlled, but today is an exception.  As of this very moment, my wonderful, beautiful wife is a college graduate, and I want to tell everybody who will listen how proud I am of her.  She has completed an Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy and is ready to begin an exciting career.

Long before we ever met each other, our lives took very different paths.  I was among the very fortunate who was able to complete a college degree right after attending high school.  While I was in college, I had no real responsibilities other than finishing college.  I did choose to work part time to reduce the amount of student loans I had to take out, but I didn’t have to work.  I also had no responsibility for any spouse/partner, children, or anybody else.

My wife, on the other hand, had to deal with much more on her plate.  She began pursuit of her degree with two toddlers and a husband.  It was an entirely different world than what I experienced as a college student.  Even as somebody who lived through it with her, I don’t think even I can understand what kind of challenge this is.  I know if I tried to picture myself pursuing a degree right now I don’t see how it could be possible.  Homework and studying for tests had to be balanced with being a partner in raising children and managing a household requires a special level of discipline.

Congratulations, and I love you more than words can express.

Posted December 19, 2014 by Andrew Cabiness in Family

What Black Friday Means to Me   Leave a comment

I love football, I love turkey, and I love mashed potatoes.  So it makes sense that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year.  My mother’s family has a very unusual tradition of bowling on Thanksgiving morning.  It even made the local news three years ago when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of bowling on Thanksgiving.  I have many fond memories from childhood of bowling in the morning and then watching the Detroit Lions lose during/after a wonderful feast.  Of course, even 33 years later, nothing tops the 1980 game (go to 6:20 in the clip).

On the flip side, I am quite impatient, so I don’t like waiting in lines or in traffic.  I also don’t like large crowds.  So it makes sense that the day after Thanksgiving is my least favorite day of the year.  I’ve never participated in any sort of Black Friday shopping.  As the years have gone by, my anti-Black Friday habits have gotten more extreme.  I’m at the point now where I don’t like to go anywhere on that day.  Every year there seem to be more and more stories on the news about people being trampled or beaten at stores, and stuff being stolen out of cars in parking lots.  It just seems to me that the safest thing to do is stay inside and watch football, though there aren’t any really good Friday games on tap this year.

Does anybody else have any anti-Black Friday traditions?

Posted November 27, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in College Football, Family, Sports

Furloughed: Hour 383   Leave a comment

Just a little over one hour short of 16 full days since I received my furlough letter, I am headed back to work.  Much to my surprise, Todd Young did vote in favor of the bill.  I don’t know if he really felt like he was doing the right thing or just felt the pressure of default.  In either case, it’s probably asking too much for him to reach out directly to the people he’s hurt tremendously in the last 16 days.  Even though Federal employees will get back pay for the lost time, many others have permanently lost income during this time.  I don’t think anything Todd thinks he and his friends have ‘gained’ through this process is worth what we’ve had to endure.  I sincerely hope that the people of his district keep this in mind next November.

You can see a complete list of the House roll call vote here.

Posted October 17, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 373   Leave a comment

The House of Representatives has passed the funding bill by a vote of 285 to 143, with 198 Democrats and 87 Republicans voting in favor of it.  The President has already promised that he will sign it ‘immediately’.  I don’t know yet how Todd Young voted, but I feel safe in assuming that he was one of the ‘No’ votes.  I won’t know until the morning if I’m back to work Thursday or Friday, but either way I have to set an alarm for the first time in 16 nights so I’m off to bed.  I’ll provide an update tomorrow.


Posted October 16, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 371   2 comments

The Senate has just passed a bill to reopen the government by a vote of 81 to 18, with 51 Democrats, 28 Republicans and both Independents voting in favor of the bill.  The bill must now pass the House and be signed by the President before the shutdown is officially over, but if you are a Federal employee, family member or close friend of a Federal employee, or a proprietor or employee of a private business that has been negatively impacted by the shutdown, I want you to know which 18 Senators just showed blatant disregard for you by voting to continue the shutdown:

Alabama – Sessions, Shelby

Florida – Rubio

Idaho – Crapo, Risch

Iowa – Grassley

Kansas – Roberts

Kentucky – Paul

Louisiana – Vitter

Nevada – Heller

Oklahoma – Coburn

Pennsylvania – Toomey

South Carolina – Scott

Texas – Cornyn, Cruz

Utah – Lee

Wisconsin – Johnson

Wyoming – Enzi

I would like to thank Senators Coats and Donnelly for having the sense to vote to let us go back to work.  We should find out soon whether or not Todd Young has any sense.

Posted October 16, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 360   Leave a comment

“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees” – Jason Kidd, 1994

Jason Kidd’s misuse of math upon being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks has long been one of my favorite quotes.  He clearly didn’t realize that 360 degrees is a full circle and that if you turn something 360 degrees, you end up back where you started.  He ended up being somewhat of a prophet, given that the team remained a doormat for another six years, well after Jason had moved on.  In a bit of irony, Jason himself finished off a 360 degree journey by returning to the Mavericks late in his career, winning a championship with them in 2011.

So now, 360 hours after being furloughed, the current situations seems to have rotated a full 360 degrees.  After lots of discussions and rumors of potential deals, we are back where we started: the Senate and President will not accept a funding bill that makes major changes to Obamacare, while Todd Young and his pals will not accept a funding bill that does not make such changes.

I want to reiterate why my anger and frustration is directed at Todd.  While the goal of having more Americans with health insurance is an important one, it’s clear that Obamacare causes a lot of unnecessary and in some cases, financially damaging problems.  I support the goal of solving these problems.  I don’t support shutting down the government and causing so much stress on the economy and on families in order to solve those problems.  Todd and his friends have to accept that they only control one of the three entities (House, Senate, President) required to create or change laws, and the only way to effectively pass their agenda is to gain control of a second entity, if not all three.

Please Todd, show some sense and do what’s best for the people of your district and not what’s best for your campaign war chest.

Posted October 16, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana, Sports

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