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How sweet it is…

I am on a mission to lose 25lbs by November 8th for my wedding in Cancun, MX. Aside from the usual, and often forgotten, pledge to eat better and exercise, I sat down to think about what seems to always impede my progress of weight loss. While eating a donut and drinking chocolate milk, it hit me! I’m clearly not eating enough sweets! Er…wait a minute. Shit. I need to put down the sweets. I know this sounds trivial and obvious, but when’s the last the time you found it easy to not eat cake or chocolate after a meal or during the day? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was purely addicted to sugar.

I thought back to my childhood and how my mother used to prepare desserts after every meal. I have gotten so used to that and have carried on the tradition in my household. While I’m not the expert baker that my mother is, I often find myself munching on Oreos and other sweets after meals. After lunch, it became pretty normal for me to grab a candy bar or other chocolate to fulfill my need for dessert. I would even mask this need by buying especially sugary and sweet cereals and having a bowl after meals. “Oh, this isn’t a dessert, ” I would think to myself as I down an entire bowl of Oreo-os or Chocolate Cheerios. Heck, I would even eat a cookie or two for breakfast because who doesn’t love cookies for breakfast?

It was bad. The cravings were immensely terrible. I was addicted. Now…I have been dessert free for three weeks and it feels GREAT. Sure, I have a bite of a cookie or sweet bread every now and then, but I do NOT crave them one bit. I started counting the times where I would normally have a dessert and it’s astonishing. Whether it be impromptu visits from the future mother-in-law, weddings, or nights out a restaurant, I have passed on them all. I will continue to fight through this desire and strive for a more healthy life. It CAN be done.

I firmly believe food additions are as difficult to overcome as smoking. Give up desserts and high-sugary foods. Quit now. Don’t give yourself cheat days. Quit! Cheat days and other excuses give yourself more reasons to eat the foods which cause addiction. Give them up and you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel. Your cravings will be gone and you’ll start not wanting the desserts as often.

I’d love to have a discussion if anyone wants to reach out to me! Have you done this? Was it easy? What are some tips you have to offer? I’ll post a follow-up on my progress in a month or so. GOOD LUCK!

Tom

jQuery Plugin: Find text within selector element(s) that matches specified language and wrap it in a span[lang=langauge]

Sometimes character encoding detection in the back-end of software can be difficult. Here is a quick solution to do it in JavaScript! I’ve implemented a jQuery plugin that accepts selectors and a language, iterates through the .text() of the selectors, and wraps the text in a <span lang=””> where the lang attribute matches the language passed in. With this code, you can change fonts, apply specific actions to text (right to left or left to right), etc…

Here is an example CSS:

Currently, only hebrew and english are defined in the plugin by default, but you can pass in additional languages in the options object when you call the function. The function parameter expects an object that contains these keys

Here’s an example on how you’d call the function:

Download the code from GitHub

OOCSS in action (part 1)

Ever since being introduced to Nicole Sullivan’s OOCSS, I’ve changed the way I develop CSS code. While I do not believe in everything that OOCSS offers, the main takeaway from me is introducing more structure and reason into my code.

Today, a typical developer might develop CSS code in this way:

And the corresponding HTML code:

Strictly speaking…there’s nothing wrong with that code. But the one thing that should stand out is its lack of re-usability. It’s pretty easy to write code specifically to accomplish a task on a page or closely-match a page comp, but OOCSS forces you to think about scalability. That is its greatest strength.

Here is how I might re-write that code in OOCSS

And the HTML code:

OOCSS gives you the concept of gridding for free. A grid can consist of one or more elements that are floated and fit next to one another in defined fragments. For example, I’ve implemented a grid of .size1of2, which allows me to put two elements side-by-side in a reusable fashion site-wide. Pretty cool huh?

I’ll go into more detail about OOCSS in future blog posts and share some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way. Stay tuned!

Election Day

Election Day: the end of months of political banter, negative ads, and social media politicians. I am actually building a house made entirely of political flyers I’ve received in the mail this election year. I counted well over 200. TWO-HUNDRED pieces of mail, lobbying for MY vote. In Michigan, we are fighting over whether renewable energy should be enforced, yet we are wasting trees, ink, and the environment to print out crap that very few read.

The only thing worse than 200 flyers is 200 friends on social media crop-dusting my news feed with LOLz and Internet memes, expressing political interests. Has “Free Speech” gotten out of hand? Why do people get so passionate about this stuff for only four months every four years? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting that they go out and constantly talk politics– that’ll land them square in the “fuck if I care what you say” list of friends—but rather, do something about it or shut up. Look, if you’re in favor of abortion now, odds are you’re not going to change that. Therefore, you know you’re voting democrat no matter what. Do it and shut up.

Instead, many people find it necessary to post links and pictures that relate to their beliefs, while ignorantly believing that no one will respond against it. Here is how most of those conversations on FB go:

Amy: OMG Romney says he is a business man, but he will ruin this country. He’s MORMON!

Joe: Dude, do you even know what Mormanism is? You act like he’s Jewish or something.

Ezikiel: What’s wrong with being Jewish?

Joe: No hard feelings, Zeke. Just proving a point.

Amy: Mormanism = moronism LOL

Joe: Fuck this country, we’re fucked.

Amy: Not if Obama is in office. Obama cares about me PERSONALLY!

Ezikiel: That’s because you shhticked him last night

Joe: Romney FTW!

….

Fun isn’t it? We get it, you love your political candidate so much, you’d lose a few FB “friends” over it. Why not go back to how it used to be and put your bumper sticker on your car and a sign on your lawn? People will know where you stand, but you don’t have to shove it in everyone’s faces. If you love your candidate as much as you lead the social media to believe, you better be watching CSPAN and every speech/game show/talk show/Saturday Night Live/ESPN game the president is a part of. If not, keep it all to yourself. Thanks.

 

Laughing Out Loud lol

What does “lol” mean to you? Does one REALLY laugh out loud when they type “lol” during a conversation? I don’t. Sorry! In fact, I only laugh out loud when I say something to the effect of, “haha I literally just laughed out loud.” I personally think “lol” is a bit overused and has lost its meaning. Do you use it at all? How do you convey when you are actually laughing out loud?

I’ve noticed that quite a few people say “lol” after a statement that THEY believe to be funny. Is it then rude to not say “lol” back to the person if you really didn’t laugh? Think about how ridiculous that really is… if you have a conversation with one of your friends in person and laugh after something you say, yet they do not, you feel embarrassed and eventually change the subject. Yeah well that doesn’t seem to happen online. It seems like the conversation always goes something like this:

Billy – Hey, I just peed all over myself. lol!
Tony – Ew, Gross!
Billy – Yeah but then my dog licked it and it was even funnier lmao
Tony – Nice man
Billy – Yeah it smells so bad lol

Here, you’ve gotta feel for Billy. The guy is trying to humor Tony, but Tony doesn’t seem to “lol” back. I mean if Billy were to tell that story in person, he would probably add a bit of flare and act it out and it would probably spark a laugh or two. Billy can’t do that here and Tony now just sounds uninterested and lost. Poor Billy.

I have a lot of friends who do this. Has “lol” become the ultimate “filler” in a conversation to cue the other person to laugh? It sure seems like it.

Stop. Think about it. When do you ACTUALLY laugh out loud? Do we need yet another acronym to save us from lol-Hell. Should it be alol (actually laughing out loud) or will that just become yet another misused and misunderstood acronym?

Day one of lol detox. Save yourself!

The End of an Era

Today was a good day. The end of an era, some might say. Today, I deleted my Facebook account– for good! After learning about the new “Friendship pages,” feature, that was my last straw. Facebook, better known as Stalkbook, has officially given the average user super private investigator abilities. With seemingly one click, any one can study the relationship between two friends on Facebook. While they thought they were doing its users justice by implementing said feature, they’re actually enabling a much more powerful stalking tool that could prove to be very dangerous in the future.

When I first joined Facebook back in 2004, I was happy to be able to reconnect with friends at a distance. I loved how I could send them messages and keep in touch. As time went on, more people joined Facebook and the term “friend” came to mean something much broader. It meant “Hey I know that girl from high school. Yeah she’s totally my friend!” Thus the term “Facebook friend” was born.  As this phenomenon continued, privacy actually became an issue before anyone even noticed it. It got out of hand. The guy across the hall in college from three years ago could see all your wall posts, pictures, etc… When you think about that, it’s actually sort of scary. Do you REALLY want other “Facebook friends” following you and your entire life when you’re not really friends in real life? We’ve unknowingly welcomed stalkers into our lives.

Insert Facebook’s new Friendship Page feature. If you didn’t think anyone was truly Facebook stalking you before, they are now. This feature allows anyone to follow your friend timeline with any mutual friend. Want drama? You’ll get it. Jealousy? Yeah that’ll come too. Do you want to put up a fake Facebook account, become Facebook friends with two people, study them and use that for a private investigator business or for your own serial killer mentality? Well you’ve got that too.

My advice to all of you is to re-evaluate what it really means to be on Facebook. Do you do it just to reconnect with friends, or do you enjoy stalking the lives of others? If it truly is friends you want, ditch your Facebook account and find other mechanisms to communicate. If the addictive stalker in you cannot get enough, stay put. You’ll have tons of fun now.

Some of you may be wondering…well why didn’t you just take the time to filter through your friends list to ensure that you only have your true friends on your list? Simple answer…I’ve got better things to do. Goodbye Facebook.