Archive for Work

2 Weeks on the Paleo Train

So it’s been two weeks and I’m still going strong on the Paleo. It really hasn’t been too bad at all. After telling my boss all about what I can and can’t eat she went ahead and ordered 2 pizzas for the office yesterday! Ha. I told her I could pick the meat off of the meat lover’s and that’s exactly what I did. Threw it in my salad and it wasn’t a bad meal at all. I have to admit that a little bit of cheese might have fallen into my mouth but it was minimal.

Today I decided to weigh myself again and amazingly I was down to 169!!! This is especially cool since I have been sick all week and have only worked out half as much as I usually do. I am quite pleased to see results on the scale but what is even more exciting is hearing everyone’s wonderment that I look thinner around the belly. We still have 4 weeks to go!  I can only hope that the results continue to come and my body continues to ‘transform’. Today is exciting since we are going to a Paleo potluck later in the day. I can’t wait to dive into all the delicious food!

Until next week. Keep eating the meat and doing the burpees.


Don’t like the sicky!

My Pa says it is because I workout too hard, my Phil says it is because I am weak willed….I don’t know what it is but I’ve got a case of the sniffles, the runny noses, sore throats and plenty of coughing. Ugh. I’m happy to say that I’ve still been going strong on my eating and haven’t caved for anything naughty. I had to skip working out today, I really didn’t want to and even got up in time to go, but after walking around and trying to wake myself up I could tell the morning would be better spent sleeping in and recouping. Of course none of this stopped me from going to work which is where I probably picked up the sickness! My boss has been sick and spending her days hacking and licking everyone’s telephone. This kind of behavior makes it very difficult to stay healthy. Oh well, I have to remind myself this will pass and the constantly tickle that feels like little mice burrowing deep into my nasal cavity will end soon as well.

Until then, phlegm it up!


Confused drivers and bon-bons

The roads around my office are a mess and have been for over a year. They’ve been that way ever since the City of Portland thought it would be a good idea to install a max line on Grand/MLK and to change the flow of traffic on Burnside and Couch. Nearly every day there is a new street closed or changed in some way making it difficult to get to work on time (or at least that’s my excuse).

My office is tucked away on a dead end street just off of Grand Ave. I love seeing people that think they are smart by taking the side streets around all of the construction mess only to turn onto our little street and realize it’s not a through street. It warms my heart to watch them make the 10-point turn of shame to get turned around and backtrack where they came from. To make matters worse the street south of our office used to be a through street but has been temporarily turned into a dead end due to the huge hole the city is digging into the ground. In order to not surprise anyone there are large orange and white signs that say “ROAD CLOSED” and behind the signs is a menacing back-hoe digger thing that tears the street up. Still this doesn’t stop some people.

I was nearly to my office this morning when I stopped at a stop sign waiting to cross the road with the menacing back-hoe digger and bright orange and white signs. To my right a green Subaru Outback slowly crept down the street. Sitting in the driver’s seat was a woman in her early 60’s wearing a red blazer, large 1980’s style glasses and golden seashell earrings the size of bon-bons (remember bon-bons?!). She was drove with her fingers wrapped around her chin, clearly perplexed as to which direction she should go. I waited impatiently since she had the right of way and I figured she would either turn left or right since the road was closed up ahead.


Like a deer caught in headlights she continued to move forward towards the construction. She pulled right up to the bright orange and white ROAD CLOSED sign and stopped her car. I’m not really sure what she expected to happen at that point but I didn’t get to see the outcome. Perhaps she thought the construction workers would make a road for her or fill in the large gaping crater in the street? Hard to say but I laughed and shook my head as I drove on by. I should’ve stuck around to see her execute a 10-point turn of shame but I had to get to work.


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I am a counter

Throughout my normal day I’ve become increasingly aware of the fact that I am constantly counting. I’m not counting anything important, just anything that my eyes happen to rest upon. I wish I could say this is a super power “my amazing ability to count” but I have found no benefit to it. When Timmy is stuck in a tree no one ever says “Thank God you’re here sequential counting man!” and then I proceed to count the ways of getting Timmy down from the three. That’s a superpower that annoys, rather than helps.

Does anyone else do this or am I alone in my pointless counting?

This morning I was gathering some documents to be mailed and I started counting “1..2..3..4….8” Eight documents in total. Wowee. The problem is I wasn’t sure how many documents were actually supposed to be there so I would’ve been satisfied with 6 or maybe even 10 documents! Counting them was utterly pointless, much like putting butter on a croissant.

I think all of this started from my inventory days when my whole job was to count. Many hours of counting soup, shoes and lumber made me a wizard on the 10-key and a Viking of addition. I started out like any noob with “1..2..3..etc” and I quickly progressed to the popular “2…4…6…8” method of counting. Eventually I learned how to see large groups of numbers and patterns while counting and progressed my counting career.  Now unfortunately I cannot unsee those patterns of numbers and in my day-to-day I’m counting spokes on lowered civic’s rims, the number of blue buttons on my work phone and how many teeth that homeless guy has. Three.

Most of the time I’m fairly accurate in my needless counting, except when I’m doing situps. I don’t know if it’s the up and down movement causing the fluid sloshing around my brain or the lack of blood, but I seem to lose my count quite easily when my abdominals are getting crunched.


After a workout I’d feel good about doing 600 situps but I’ve become increasingly aware of my creative counting and have realized I’m lucky if I did 78. No wonder my abs have refused to surface.  :/

I ever I found myself in an intense hostage-negotiating situation, I’d like to think that my counting skills would come in handy. Combine those skills with my abilities as a top shot and my general badassery and I think I’d look a lot like Korben Dallas as seen below.



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Thermal Fluke

(Phone rings)
Lady: Hi I’m with the Fluke corporation how are you doing today?

Me: I’m well and yourself?

Lady: Great, thanks for asking. We’re conducting a survey among electricians to find out how many of them are using thermal imaging on the job site. Can you tell me how many employees are using thermal imaging?

Me: Uuhh..this is an association, we don’t actually have any electricians here.

Lady: Oh, I’m sorry please disregard this call, my mistake.

Me: That’s ok, I guess it was a fluke!

Lady: hahahahahahahahaha, oh awesome. Thanks…hahahahah
(she really thought it was funny)

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This is an article I wrote for the latest work newsletter…enjoy.

One of the problems with being a genius on the computer is that I (obviously) sit in front of a computer much of the time. Most of my day is filled with me staring into a thin rectangular box. Even after my nightly workout, shower and feed time I still end up sitting in front of the computer for at least an hour. Sometimes I don’t even want to sit back down at the terminal but it calls to me with its shiny buttons and endless Internet. And like a chubby kid smelling cake, I can’t help but dive in.

Over time, sitting at the computer with bad posture can wreak havoc on your body. I have a friend that is an excellent programmer and has been hammering out code for the past 10 years. His programs are a thing of beauty but his spine looks like a wilted flower that has been sucked dry by the sun. He used to stand 6 feet tall but has now transferred those vertical inches forward. In other words he makes the hunchback of Notre Dame look like an all star athlete.

I shouldn’t point fingers because my back used to be strong like an Ox and straight as a board but now it’s ’strong’ like a cat and as straight as a gently warped board. The problem with me is that I sit in the weirdest positions throughout the day. Sometimes I hunch forward, other times I sit on my legs, but no matter what I always slouch. I know slouching makes me look about as professional as a guy wearing ripped jeans and socks with his flip-flops, but it’s a really bad habit I’ve had for years. I once worked with a massage therapist who gave me a stern lecture about posture when she saw how I was sitting at my computer. I really do try to heed her advice.

Possibly the most important thing I have learned to do when sitting at a computer for hours is to get my lazy butt up and move around. I’m no longer a spring chicken and I’ve noticed in my advanced age that if I sit for too long my lower back starts to hurt and my neck gets tight. Getting up and moving around doing some arms swings or cartwheels is a great way to get the blood flowing and to loosen your tight muscles. If you’re prone to headaches at work try some deep breathing and moving your head forward/backward, in a slow twisting motion or in a nice gentle circle. After being stationary for an extended period and doing these neck exercises I’ve found that my neck sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies on a Saturday morning…snap, crackle and POP! I usually feel better afterwards, but don’t blame me if your head falls off because you were too vigorous with these exercises. Start slow.

When standing you should also try to retain good posture. Try to stand with most of your weight on the balls of your feet and not on the heels. I am guilty of standing like a flat-footed platypus all too often. Your head should be back and your shoulders upright with your arms hanging naturally at your side. I’ve noticed when people stand it’s easy to see what sort of posture they’ve been positioned in most of their life. 

Without a doubt the best way to improve your posture is to exercise. I know this bit of advice will cause many to grumble since the only exercise they get is from 12oz curls, but exercise is really key. You don’t have to lift weights and look like the governor of California, but getting outside and walking can do wonders. In addition you can do non-impact things like Yoga or Pilates that will strengthen and stretch your body. Stretching can do wonders if your body is prone to getting ‘bound up’ after hunching behind your computer day after day.

No one wants to look like a hobbling hunch back when they grow up, so take care and beware of how you sit for extended periods of time. You’ll feel much better and your body will thank you. If you grow old and end up with only a view of your toes don’t say I didn’t warn you!



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Don’t overreact

I saw this on PostSecret this morning and it just made me laugh. But it also rings true to me. Even in the midst of crappy things life is generally good, it really is what you make it. That’s not the easiest thing to write on a Monday morning before I head into work to run payroll reports and do budget spreadsheets. But is it really that bad? No, not really, it’s pretty good really. Keep your chin up, yell at a horse if you have to.

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Being Naked.

Underneath all our clothes, we’re all naked. No matter where you come from that’s something we all have in common. I know some of you out there may possibly be a never-nude but even still underneath your cutoffs, you’re naked. I think it’s funny how our view of being naked changes with age and body fat. It seems everyone enjoys a naked baby bottom running through the house after bath time. I know there exists photographic evidence of a 4 year old me climbing over the couch with my twig and berries hanging out for all to see. Most kids seem free as the wind and don’t mind streaking through the house while giggling uncontrollably. The problem is with us adults, we don’t do that anymore, or at least most of my friends don’t anymore.

Recently I stopped by my sister’s house on a Sunday morning to have brunch with my parents. I walked into chaos as my sister was right in the middle of trying to get her daughters ready for church. The 4 year old was completely dressed but my 2.5 year old niece was standing there naked from the waist down as my sister was trying to get her to put on her pull ups. The youngest looks up at me and excitedly says “HEEEEEY UNCLE! I’m getting my pull ups on.” “I see that.” was my response. Once she got both legs through and pulled them up she thrust her hips forward like Micheal Jackson and just like MJ she slapped her groin area to draw attention to her ‘princess pull ups’. “Look at my pull ups!” she squealed while prancing around. My older niece turned to look and very sincerely said “I like your pull ups”. It was very entertaining and made me wish adults could get that excited about underwear. A few years ago I bought some boxer shorts with airplanes on them, but when I thrust my hips forward and slapped my groin to show everyone, they just called the police. I guess the employees at Sears do not appreciate a man with an amazing physique (me) modeling their underwear.

Earlier this week I went to the doctor’s office to take part in a ‘wellness program’ offered through my work. The appointment was the type of checkup you would expect to find at your local mechanics’s garage for your car. They took my measurements, checked my fluids, checked my pressure, took a peek ‘under my hood’ poked, prodded and pinched me everywhere and finally hooked me up to a machine and rev my engine up to full speed to see how well it performed. Seriously, not unlike hooking a car up to a dyno and testing out it’s horsepower, except in this office it was all micahpower.

I arrived, filled out my paperwork and got right in. They extracted my fluids and told me to wait in the room for the doctor. I resisted the urge to lick all the tongue depressors and put them back in the jar before the doctor came in (you can thank me later). It wasn’t long before a 60-something year old lady with graying hair and glasses wearing a purple sweater came in. She seemed a bit meek which made me a little sad because I like doctor’s that are ‘go getters’. We talked for awhile about my overall health and insanely large biceps before she told me to take off my shirt and pants and slip on my running shorts. I wasn’t wearing my airplane boxers so I didn’t get to thrust my groin and pretend I was a WWII diver bomber like I had wanted to. I was sitting on the table with the white butcher paper when she returned, apparently she left to go cool her hands in an ice box because they were colder than Phil’s teet on a winter’s eve.

She tested out my reflexes and poked all around my wondrous landscape until she asked me to stand up and said she was going to need to check ‘down there’. She asked that I put my shirt on, which I thought was weird, but I guess there is some rule about only being naked in the doctor’s office one half at a time. I put my shirt on and tried to pull my pants down but she wasn’t ready. I guess I was out of ‘position’ or something, I needed to step to the left 3 feet for the examination. At this point I thought she told me to turn around and I did, and I also tried to pull my shorts down again to which she replied “No, face me”. This totally makes me laugh right now because I’m sure she was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.

Finally I was properly positioned and I dropped my pants. I used to get nervous during this part of a physical or doctor’s appointment but since I now feel fine being naked, I felt perfectly relaxed. I figured that this doctor has seen hundreds if not thousands of penis’ (I’m not calling her a ho, I’m just saying she’s a doc) so mine would be no different except for it’s extreme length. The weird part was SHE seemed nervous. She was looking and lifting the king all the while saying “it’s almost over, almost done”. I was thinking “almost done?! I just dropped my drawers lady! This party is about to get started!” Maybe it was because I was standing there with my fists on my hips and my chest puffing out like Superman or perhaps the fact that I was whistling ‘Afternoon delight’ during the examination, I’m not sure, but she would wouldn’t make eye contact with me and she would hardly make eye contact with little Micah! How are you going to examine my bits without looking at them? Ray Charles could’ve given a better examination and he’s a piano player!

Regardless, she finally told me to put my pants back on, (a phrase I hear all too often from the ladies) and to sit tight while she gets ready to shuffle me to the next room. In the next room was nurse ‘Joan’, a treadmill and a computer hooked to an EKG. I was instructed to take my shirt off and lie down (something I don’t hear enough from the ladies ha!). She asked if I was ready for my stress test, I nodded as she reached down behind me to pick something up.

“Ok, well this is going to be the hardest part of the test.”

“Why is that?” I asked nervously

“Well..(trailing off)…you’re really hairy and we’re going to have to remove some of that hair before we put the little stickies on you”

“That’s right I’m a MAN! Oh, uh….are you going to wax me?!” (remembering she said this was the hardest part)

“No, but I am going to shave you.”

“All of me?”

“No, I’m selfish, I’m only going to shave the parts I need.”

“Oh jeeze…”

She began shaving me with the dullest razor ever invented, or so it seemed. It could’ve been sharp when she began but my Yeti-type hairs quickly clogged the weak disposable blades with curly abundance. After a few awkward moments of the nurse silently shaving me.

“If you’re going to disfigure me, can you at least put some cool design in my chest hair like a lightning bolt or something?”

“Oh I would if I could, but I’m just not that good..”

Really it was too bad because a lightning bolt would’ve been as cool as the early 90’s. She shaved me up and I ran for 25 minutes on the treadmill. Happily I kicked the EKG’s ass and nurse Joan was decently impressed. Nothing was amiss and my heart appears to be in good health, yay me.

I was comfortable being naked before, just ask any of my friends that have ever come to my door. I’m usually in some stage of undress, but now I look like I have racing stripes down my chest or just one single stripe down the middle depending on how you look at it. All thanks to nurse Joan. I guess the worst part isn’t the stripes it’s the stubble. Stubble on my chest that gets caught on my shirt and by the end of the day itches like a mofo, I hate it. Being naked is fun, but not when you look like half man, half boy.

Argh, I’m going to go shave.

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A little article I wrote for the company newsletter

I know this may come as a shock to you, but there was a time when I was fat. If you’ve ever met me I know you’re probably thinking “Not YOU Micah?! Surely you must be joking?”. No dear reader I am not. Before the chiseled physique that writes this letter now, came a man that resembled a voluptuous pear rather than a Greek Statue. Hours of computer programming, video games, beer and chips had taken their toll on my body adding years and pounds. I knew I needed to change something when playing one-on-one basketball with a friend I never drove to the hoop. I was content sitting behind the 3-point line shooting shot after shot expending the least amount of energy as possible. I didn’t have love handles, I had love railings and they were there for all to grab onto, especially little children as they rode the escalator in the mall.

Like most people I set out to lose the weight and headed to the gym. I was successful in gaining a little bit of muscle, but the fat still clung to me like icing on a Cinnabon. Frustrated, I eventually lost momentum and let my gym membership expire along with my dreams of six pack abs and arms that would make grown men cry. The problem was that even though I was going to the gym consistently I was also consistently eating anything and everything that was placed in front of my face. If it started with a ‘C’ and ended in ‘ake’ I would have 3 slices. If there was cheese involved I would unhinge my jaw and shovel it all in. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why I wasn’t losing any weight, bad food was accidentally falling in my mouth and I was chewing it up. The main issue was that I wasn’t being honest with myself as to how much fattening food I was truly eating.

It wasn’t until a couple years later that I put it all together and figured out the final piece of the pizza pie. When you do workout, workout hard. Going to the gym and doing 2 sets of 10 on the bench press and then flapping your jaw for an hour with your mates isn’t going to cut it. You have to constantly push yourself, nearly everyday. The beauty is that it truly does become easier over time.

When I lost the weight I did it with a lot of help from the Internet. There is a vast amount of information and resources available for losing weight. Many of the services are free which is extremely nice. Everything from calorie counters, BMI Indexes and even free workout routines. It’s refreshing to use your computer for something other than games and spreadsheets (but those are fun too).

There are many sites like this one that help you with counting your caloric intake, this one is simple and easy to use:

This site has a bunch of different tools you can use from figuring out your BMI to finding out how many calories were burned during exercise. No, flipping the channels and eating chips is not considered exercise:

This guy has a simple free 12-week workout program you can utilize. If anything, it will help give you fresh ideas:

The main way I lost most of the weight was through using bodyweight exercises. Basically you don’t use many machines or free weights, instead you use your body weight as the main resistance. It’s a great way to get around the excuses of ‘not having a gym membership’ or ‘no weights at home’…etc. You are usually connected to your body so there’s really no room for excuses. To help me in my endeavor I found this site: and although the guy is an animal and his workouts are a bit ferocious for those just starting out, I found it worked for me. Halfway through his program the pounds started melting off of me like butter on a stack of pancakes.

If your goal is to lighten your load this year, the best thing you can do is stick with it and push yourself. Of course you should consult a doctor before you go and try to run a marathon, but once you’ve been given the green light remember it’s ok to go out and move your body. Try to break a sweat everyday by doing more than raising the pop can to your lips. Use the computer to track your progress and you’ll feel better when you can see how far you’ve come!

Happy New Year to everyone!

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Revolting Real Estate

6:00. I’m late, I should already be at the house to show my clients but traffic was bad and I was busy slurping my second bowl of soup at my sister’s house. I pull up to the dark, vacant house and see my clients parked in the driveway. Dangit! I hate being late. I grab my stuff, get out of my car and approach them.

“Hi guys sorry I’m late, have you been waiting long?”
Wife: “No, not really”
Me: “That’s too bad I was trying to make you wait awhile.”
Wife: “MICAH!”
Me: “sorry.”

It’s nice to show houses to people I would categorize as ‘acquaintance friends’ someone I’ve gone out to drinks a few times with and I can be more of myself. The wife of this duo is certainly comfortable with me and speaks her mind freely, which is surprising at first but really makes my life/job so much easier, there is no guessing where she’s coming from.

We all walk up to the dark doorstep and I point out the shiny new doorknob.
“Look at the shiny new doorknob!”
Wife: “wonderful”

I don’t usually bring such silly details to the surface, but one week earlier we were on the very same darkened doorstep facing a door with no handle or knob, the handiwork of malicious teenagers no doubt. Prior to this we had seen the house once, so you can imagine my client’s disappointment when there was no way to enter the house last week.

I opened the door, we walk in and I begin going through the house flipping all the lights on. The husband gets busy immediately pulling out his tape measure, taking note of the entryway and living room. The house is vacant; victim of a bad loan and people living outside of their means. A tragedy for something that wasn’t even built two years ago. The real tragedy is how something so new can look so tired and used. Once beautiful carpets now spread across the house in an array of mysterious stains and colors. Holes in the walls, trash in the backyard, unpaid bills stuffed in drawers, broken shelves in the corner, all these things are tell-tale signs of an owner that was forced to leave and relinquish his home in a hurry.

The first time I showed the house I noticed the blue tape and the warning stickers across the sinks and toilets, clearly showing that the water had been turned off and not to use any of the facilities. I was curious when I flipped on the lights for the downstairs bathroom and noticed the tape had been ripped off the toilet seat.

__Side Note__
Now…’s that saying go? ‘Curiosity something’ed the something’?
__/Side Note__

I wish I knew because I walked over to the toilet and it was clear that someone had completely disregarded the lovely blue tape and the job they had completed was not a quick Number 1. “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me” were the words that slipped out. “What?!” inquired the wife. I told her to forget it, but she obviously had never heard that curiosity saying either. Retching, she cursed and used her foot to slam the toilet seat down and continued to mutter some words better left to the imagination.

I walked upstairs to continue my dutiful task of turning all the lights on and as I flipped on the lights in the upstairs bathroom it was the same scene as before. Either someone was feeling the taco bell burn or this house was having some serious sewer problems. Disgusted and feeling a little queasy I pressed forth into the master bedroom. With nothing amiss in the bedroom I strode confidently into the master bath deciding this time to not even look at the toilet. Instead I looked at the sink where my eyes captured a basin FULL of vomit. Nearly laying my cookies down right next to the sink, I bolted out of the bedroom, downstairs and past my clients. Outside I breathed in the fresh air and thought of puppy dogs, guitars and pretty ladies (things that make me happy and generally keep me from puking). Once recovered I ventured back indoors and advised my clients to not look in the master bathroom. The wife pressed on as to ‘why’ and I finally told her.

We all ventured upstairs but I decided to hang back and let them take the lead. Minutes had passed since I had advised them to not look in the sink and apparently they forgot as their unison groan echoed loudly through the empty house. As the husband was finishing his measurements in the roomy walk-in closet the wife and I were trying to decide what happened. It was apparent that the vandals of the doorknob most likely succeeded in entering the house. We were thinking druggies at first but the husband pointed out the cigarette butts and the used condoms in the master closet. ‘The WHAT?’ we said as we both scurried to the closet. Sure enough used cigarettes and condoms were strewn across the floor. Absolutely disgusting.

The best we could figure out is that some teenagers broke in and had a party. They got drunk, did the deed and the violent mixture of chalupas, pineapple flavored vodka and the jarring affects of putting the biscuit in the basket most likely caused someone to get sick….a lot. Either way afterwards we went to Old Chicago, washed our hands three times, had our own drinks and wrote an offer.

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