I just noticed that nearly 25% of the visitors to a website I maintain use — get this! — Netscape 4.x!!! I can’t even dignify Netscape 4.x by calling it a browser!

I’ll rant a little bit about this later when I’m less pissed off. But let’s just say I can’t undo everything I’ve done in the last 4 years for these people.

Major False Alarm (Thankfully!)

No one’s dead or deathly ill. It’s just that my older brother tried to reach me yesterday but didn’t since it was the one day this week I took off to go to the beach. He and my sister-in-law are coming to Halifax for the big show on Halifax’s Citadel Hill to cap off the Congrès mondial acadien… They’re not planning to stay with me or anything but will be touching base, obviously.

I wish my mother didn’t hate answering machines so much. When most people leave such a brief message, it’s because whatever they have to say is not appropriate for voice mail. But in Mom’s case, it’s different. She just doesn’t like talking to a machine, especiallly while on long distance. *sigh*

Cryptic Voice Mail Messages

I hate getting brief, cryptic voice mail messages, especially from my mother. I got one this evening, as BeeGoddessM and I went for a drive along the Eastern Shore.

“Hi Moe. You’ll call me, okay…” (in French, of course). That’s all she said.

Yup, the same tone and almost the same words my sister used in her message on the morning of March 12th, except then I knew it meant, “Dad has died, so call for details.” Maybe nothing’s wrong… It might just be another manifestation of how my mom so dislikes answering machines… But I doubt it. I suspect that either a relative or close family friend has died, or something bad is up with one of my brothers or my sister. Or Mom herself.

Sorry for the suspense, but that’s exactly what I’m experiencing right now. I’ll be sure to give you an update as soon as I get one myself.

On Reaching a Goal

Many have said that reaching a goal can be anticlimactic. Indeed, you get there and then you find yourself saying, “Okay, so what?” But, I must admit that hasn’t been my experience with reaching my weight-loss goal.

For reach it I did, though I’m not sure how much I weigh now. You might recall that I have a very ungenerous electronic scale which, as far as I can tell, might be adding as many as 10 pounds. It certainly did with Indiana Jones a while back.

I went to Moncton about two weeks ago. As soon as I walked into the family homestead, my mother, whom I hadn’t seen since Mother’s Day, immediately exclaimed, “Wow! You really did lose all that weight you’ve been saying that you’ve lost!” Curious, she ordered me to step on her scale, which she has reasons to believe is accurate. “Whenever I weigh myself before going to the doctor, I always get the same result on his scale.” That morning before leaving for Moncton, wearing only my birthday suit, I weighed in at 177 pounds. But a few hours later, dressed and on my mother’s scale, I weighed only 167 pounds. She is convinced that I tipped her scale to 190 to 192 back in February/March, which would mean that I probably lost 23 to 25 pounds, not the 18 to 20 pounds I thought I’d lost. And that, I must say, makes me feel good because I really do feel so much better.

I’ve had many discussions with BeeGoddessM about what’s next. By this I don’t mean that I intend to lose more weight. Rather, I’m trying to figure out how I plan to maintain my weight where it is now. Although I credit controlling carbohydrates as the key to my success, I’m now thinking more along the lines of South Beach which distinguishes between good and junk carbs. I’m eating basmati rice again (though not as much per serving) and I don’t always say no to all types of bread. Now I’m also taking calories and fat into account, all in an attempt to reach a balance.

I think what makes Atkins successful is not only that it yields results quickly, but also that it forces its adherents to truly understand the composition of foods. We all cognitively understand that too much fat is bad (and a little of some kinds of fat is just plain bad), as it will eventually clog up your arteries. But, alas, that’s something we only truly understand once we have to deal with the consequence of overconsumption. Indeed, while we all like to believe we are rational beings, we have mental blocks (fits of denial?) when it comes to food and addictions (…he says as he takes a drag off his cigarette…). With Atkins, you see the positive results quickly, but just as quickly you become quasi or really phobic of carbs and lose sight of other components that can be just as bad if not worse.

Therefore, now my rule — to quote those Subway commercials — is to “Eat Fresh.” I never thought I’d grow to like fruit and vegetables so much, let alone SALADS! But I do. So now if I fall off the wagon 5 percent of the time and have some pizza or KFC, I’m okay with that. Before it used to be the other way around, so I realize that in addition to having reached my goal, I’ve actually changed something very fundamental, namely the way I eat.

If the adage “You are what you eat” is true, then I’m pretty damn good!

Five Weird Languages

I dropped a line to Damian, the Australian guy I mentioned in my previous post, and he certainly has quite an order on his hands. Of the five languages in which the site in question has to be published, only one uses the alphabet we all know and love.

As he put it, that’s one of the joys of living in Oceania. But it got me thinking, though, about how being anglophone in that part of the world mustn’t be dissimilar to being francophone in North America. I believe there are fewer than 10 million francophones in Canada and the United States, which is less than 5 percent of the continent’s population. While English is spoken in countries around Australia, the fact remains it has 3 of the most populous countries in the world nearby — China, India, and Indonesia — where English is not the primary language.

Talk about being dwarfed!