me @ panera

The weirdest thing...

Was just checking my online credit card statement, and there was a $1.37 credit from MACYS EAST 0129 on Thursday, October 21.

Which wouldn't normally bother me, except I wasn't in a Macy's on October 21, or anywhere else on the 21st, or any Macy's in months.

So I called the credit card company. They couldn't find a corresponding charge. All I could think was that maybe some fraudster was just trying combinations of credit card numbers and expiration dates until they got one that worked.

The operator asked if I'd like to cancel the card, and I decided to go ahead and do so. I guess being overly cautious with credit cards is better than not being cautious enough.

Has this happened to anyone else out there?

Edited to add: Moving this entry up to the front page, as it keeps getting attention and comments.
me @ panera

BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

Originally posted by write_light at BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

From the flist: 

Spread the word, even you're not a US citizen, it is important for everyone!! It easy to do and it can change everything. More info by clicking on the banner.

Website Blocking

The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users.

Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users

It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook.

Chaos for the Internet

Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn't be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

Read this analysis from

Get on the phone and call your representative. Express your disapproval. Tell him or her exactly how you feel, and that you don't support this. Tell your friends to call their representatives, their Congressperson, and complain. Mention that you are a registered voter that takes your civic responsibility seriously and that you will use that vote to express your feelings about this.

“We support the bill’s stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the Internet companies wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”  The chamber-led coalition in support of the bill includes Walmart, Eli Lilly & Co. and Netflix.

Google and other opponents of the legislation argue that restricting the Internet in the U.S. sets a bad international precedent and that the language defines infringing too broadly.


American Censorship
Whitehouse Petition
Fight For the Future
Save the Internet

me @ panera

The other blog

Just a heads up that I'm shutting down the Posterous blog, and going back to posting I Lost Another Me at Wordpress. Wordpress just recently updated their iPhone app and makes posting on the go much much easier! Also I have business cards for the Wordpress blog... they're mostly collecting dust, but I have them! Anyway, so head over there if you'd like to hear about my adventures in cycling and other stuff.
me @ panera

News from the world of biking: cars are scary

I went for a spin around my neighborhood this morning. We live very close to the train station, so 7:30 in the morning near a commuting hub isn't a great place for a newbie to practice her riding! Although I did do a little better riding with cars on the road. 

Hubby thinks getting comfortable with cars should be lower on my priority list. I'm only averaging around 7 to 8 mph right now. He suggested I work up to a consistent 12 to 14 mph before I try riding in traffic. Luckily we live close to a big office park, so I will try riding the loop around there on the weekends, and maybe stick to the asphalt path across the street. 

I still can't believe I'm only going about 8 mph, or 11.47 at my fastest! It still feels like I'm going crazy fast. I guess because I'm still kinda wobbly. Another good reason to stay off the roads: I tried raising my hand off the handlebar this morning, as if to signal a turn, and I nearly fell over! So yeah, I should just stick to quiet paths for the moment.

Crossposted from
me @ panera

Playbook poll

To my Blackberry-using peeps, will you be buying a Playbook? Why or why not?

I know I'm an Apple fangirl, but how does a company known for its mobile product create a WiFi-only tablet with no 3G option? It's supposed to be available this fall. But then why would you buy one now if that's the case?
me @ panera

Weigh-in report for March 2011

Weighed in at 159.4, 0.6 lbs below goal, and 0.4 lbs less than February 19!

People, lemme tell ya, I am shocked.

I've noticed that I'm suddenly bulking up around my shoulders and arms, and I thought I'm finally putting on muscle! My strength gains cannot be denied. I've been using the 100 Pushups app on my iPhone on days when I don't meet with my trainer Susane. I could only do 5 to start, and after just 2 weeks yesterday I did 8 in a row! Susane has also noticed great strides in my strength. Which is all very awesome!

I'm just a little flabbier still than I'd like to be. I think since the strength training is going so well, it's time to do more and better cardio. I didn't work out as much as I would have wanted to in February, but March is definitely looking better! My goal is to work out at least 5 times a week, which works out to 21 times this month, and so far I'm at 8 out of 21!

So yeah, not too shabby this month. And I know where I'd like to improve, so I just gotta do it!

Crossposted from
me @ panera

Some radical journaling ideas

You're a Weight Watcher, right? So of course you track, right? Enthusiastically, completely honestly, nice and neatly, of course, right?

Yeah, me neither.

I do track online with eTools, which is much faster and neater than relying on my handwriting! But I heard some excellent ideas in the last couple of days that may inspire you to pay more attention and refocus on keeping track.

My At Work leader is getting ready for triathlon season, so she has a fighting weight she'd like to get down to. As an experiment she tried this: out of her 29 points, she only wrote down the points toward her Daily Target if it was a Power Food or part of the Good Health Guidelines. Anything else, she took it out of her weeklies. So for example, if she had scrambled eggs with veggies and a low-carb tortilla, she wrote down the eggs and veggies as part of her 29 points, and took the tortilla points out of her weeklies. She said one day, she only had 9 points towards her daily! 

Then another member at my At Work mentioned she had gone back to Simply Filling, because she had so many PointsPlus in her target that she felt encouraged to have a treat since she had room for it. But one treat would become another, and another... So I'm considering tracking my normal PointsPlus on paper, but telling my eTools that I'm going to do Simply Filling. Then I'll see how much fun food I'm really eating!

Another idea I got from a friend today: When she goes out and has a glass of wine or some dessert, instead of adding it to her daily Target, she immediately takes it out of her weeklies, even if she's under her target for the day. Her thinking is that those treats shouldn't be part of her daily diet, and taking them out of her weeklies reinforces that. On one hand, it's all kinda fungible, right? If you use an extra 5 points and go into your weeklies, does it really matter whether it was the glass of wine, or a baked potato with dinner? But if it makes her be more selective in treating herself, go for it, right?

If nothing else, all these ideas have me really psyched to start journaling on the fresh week once I get back from our little mini-vacation! I plan not to count points while I'm away, but I will:

  • make the best choices I can
  • pay attention to hunger signals and try to stop when satisfied
  • exercise a whole bunch
  • post my food choices to my food Twitter, cfrogfood. It's amazing how telling over 200 people what I'm eating will make me strive to eat better!

I hope these ideas jazz you up. And if you have any of your own to share, please post in the comments!

Crossposted from
me @ panera

Sad, but not surprising

Influence of Licensed Spokescharacters and Health Cues on Children's Ratings of Cereal Taste

Matthew A. Lapierre, MA; Sarah E. Vaala, MA; Deborah L. Linebarger, PhD

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(3):229-234. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.300

Objective  To investigate whether licensed media spokescharacters on food packaging and nutrition cues affect young children's taste assessment of products.

Design  In this experimental study, children viewed 1 of 4 professionally created cereal boxes and tasted a "new" cereal. Manipulations included presence or absence of licensed cartoon spokescharacters on the box and healthy or sugary cereal name.

Setting  Shopping center in a large northeastern city in December 2007.

Participants  Eighty children (mean [SD] age, 5.6 [0.96] years; 53% girls) and their parents or guardians.

Main Exposure  Licensed cartoon characters and nutrition cues in the cereal name.

Outcome Measures  Children rated the cereal's taste on a 5-point smiley face scale (1, really do not like; 5, really like).

Results  Children who saw a popular media character on the box reported liking the cereal more (mean [SD], 4.70 [0.86]) than those who viewed a box with no character on it (4.16 [1.24]). Those who were told the cereal was named Healthy Bits liked the taste more (mean [SD], 4.65 [0.84]) than children who were told it was named Sugar Bits (4.22 [1.27]). Character presence was particularly influential on taste assessments for participants who were told the cereal was named Sugar Bits.

Conclusions  The use of media characters on food packaging affects children's subjective taste assessment. Messages encouraging healthy eating may resonate with young children, but the presence of licensed characters on packaging potentially overrides children's assessments of nutritional merit.

This is kinda sad and a little scary.

Crossposted from
me @ panera

Weigh-in Report for February 2011

159.8, 0.2 pounds below goal. Whew!

I'm still a pound up from January, and even more up from December. I just haven't quite found the right maintenance level for myself on PointsPlus yet. I wouldn't mind losing another pound or two before we head off to the ancestral Froggenhall family home in a couple weeks!

How about you guys: how have you found maintaining on the new program? Or are you still working on getting off holiday poundage?

Crossposted from