What’s Going On?

Hey folks!

Many apologies for the disappearing act. We’ve been completely slammed at work with our beta build and European localization (this means we translate every bit of dialogue and text in our game into Italian, German, French and Spanish) for most of August, and, frankly, the last thing I want to do after spending 10 hours copying and pasting text from an Excel spreadsheet into a type layer in Photoshop, adjusting the text size to fit properly, exporting and saving the graphic in the correct location in the proper format, and repeating all of the above about a hundred more times before the end of the day is go home and get back on a computer.

And, ultimately, I got bored with posting exactly the the same exercise and diet routine every day, LOL.

The Cheapass Challenge budget, diet, and workout regimen has been kept up despite the lack of posting. All grocery receipts have been kept in my CAC envelope. I will post updated photos, stats, and budget sheets this weekend, but I’m not sure if I will keep up with the daily workout/nutrition posts as very little will change through the end of September.

I do have one additional comment to make on the Instone products I’ve tried. The Vanilla Creme high protein pudding is NASTY. It has a weird chemical licorice flavor that is simply not palatable to me. Stick with chocolate unless you think black licorice and Good ‘n’ Plenty candy is nummy.

Outside of work, the return of normal work hours has allowed me to get back into some of the interests that have been put on the backburner. I’ve been getting out to karaoke again, hanging out with the Sketch South artist group on Thursday nights to draw and chat, planting the fall/winter veggie garden so I can have some cheapass snow peas, snap peas, lettuce, and spinach, playing some of the GBA games I picked up ages ago (current addiction is GBA Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town), and (gasp) being social.

Chris’s 32nd birthday was last Wednesday, and we had a combined belated birthday and housewarming party Saturday night. We’ve been in the house for about 10 months now, so the housewarming was VERY overdue. Much fun was had by all with Guitar Hero blaring away on two guitar controllers in the living room. Best of all, nearly all of the (pretty healthy) party food was consumed down to the crumbs, so clean up was minimal. The birthday boy received two impractical but highly-desired items of game-related geekery: a Logitech G7 wireless laser gaming mouse and the G15 programmable gaming keyboard with glowing blue keys. I normally wouldn’t have been so extravagant, but there was a $30 rebate on the mouse. 😉

I have already started to hint strongly at my desire to have a recumbent bike and the barbell accessory for my Powerblock Elite dumbbells for MY birthday in January. A better weight bench would be nice, too.

We each have our own foibles, eh?

Leechmobile Field Report

I am not generally a rah rah volunteer for community service type, but I do perform one semi-regular service for the masses – I try to donate a pint of blood every 8 weeks or so. I think I donated for the first time as a senior in high school, and, realizing that it was no big deal, I’ve participated in every convenient blood drive near my schools or workplaces.

So today I’m posting from the bloodmobile at my office complex. I have to type this left-handed on Treo since there is a giant needle and a few yards of tubing attached to the right arm. This is a pretty slow process.

Ugh. Never mind. I will post again when I have access to a normal keyboard and use of both hands.

Right now I am going to squeeze out some more blood and rejoice over the $10 Wal-Mart gift card I received for my blood. That’s a whole week of Cheapass Challenge food you know!

Bodybuilding.com 10% Off Code

Use coupon code ComeBack10Percent to receive 10% off your entire order at Bodybuilding.com through August 25. Prices at the site are reasonable for most supplements, but check around at other online merchants for your favorites before ordering to ensure that you are actually getting a good deal.

Drugstore.com is also running a 2-day 20% off special on all items from their GNC store, with or without the GNC Gold card membership. GNC products are generally overpriced in my opinion, but if you are a fan of their Mega line of multivitamins or want to stock up on fish oil capsules on the advice of Dr. John Berardi (bottle of 360 for $11.99 after 20% discount is applied in the cart), this might be a good time to take a look. Go through Ebates.com or Fatwallet.com to get a 5-6% kickback for your total purchase, and spend $49 on non-prescription products to get free standard shipping.

Some other places to shop for your protein powder:

Mass Nutrition

Question of the Day Marathon: Days 10, 11, & 12

I’m playing some catch up with the QotD as well as my regular posts due to some problems with my web host this week, but here are days 10-12 of the QotD marathon for your perusal!

Day 10 – Monday – MoneyDummy – What’s the most unusual, quirky, or bizarre thing involving money that’s happened to you personally?

Day 11 – Tuesday – Steve BraunWhat percentage of financial success comes from “financial skills” and what percentage comes from “character?” Share some examples to support your theory.

Day 12 – TODAY – MightyBargainHunterWhat’s the best deal that you’ve ever gotten in a store?

CAC W7D3: The Frugal Fitness Geek’s Budget Spreadsheet

For anyone interested in trying out the spreadsheet I use to track my Cheapass Challenge expenses, I’ve uploaded the file here:

Frugal Fitness Geek Budget Spreadsheet

1. All of the authorized healthy foods from the Body-For-Life food list are already pre-filled in the spreadsheet for your convenience since most recurring expenses will be grocery-related.

2. Enter quantities of each item you need for the week in the Qty column and the price of each item if you know it. (I like to check the ads of 1-3 of the local grocery stores or visit the stores to make notes on prices before I start to get this data.) You can also just put in an estimated price per unit for now.

3. Also enter any unit and notes information you might have if you like, though this is optional.

4. You can also add your own custom items if they are not already included on the sheet.

5. When you are finished marking the quantities of the items you plan to purchase, click the dropdown arrow at the top of the Qty column and select “Nonblanks” to filter out all of the items you don’t need for the week, leaving just a (hopefully) short shopping list you can print out and take with you.

6. After you finish your shopping trip, enter the actual market prices you paid on everything and let the spreadsheet total up your expenses for the week.

7. The first tab in the workbook tracks your totals for all 12 weeks and gives you a grand total for the entire challenge. You don’t need to edit this page; the formulas will automatically pull in the values from the other sheets.

Enjoy, and let me know if you run into any problems using the sheet!

You will need Microsoft Excel, Corel Quattro Pro, or any other spreadsheet application capable of opening Excel format (.XLS) files in order to use this spreadsheet. A free office suite that includes a spreadsheet app is available for download at Openoffice.org.


1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 peach, 1 scoop whey
3: 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. mixed Mandrain vegetables
4. 1 plain rice cake, 1/2 T. all natural peanut butter, 1 Instone High Protein chocolate pudding
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 4 c. Romaine lettuce, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 4 oz. potato
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1474 calories (52.2% carb/36.9% pro/15.6% fat)


* YF Cardio (15 min)
* LISS Walk (4 mph / 30 min)

Calories burned: 211 calories

DEFICIT: -402 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)


CAC W7D2: 100 Things About Causticmuse

1. I’m OCD about all of my interests. (Bet you couldn’t guess, eh? :slappy:)
2. I believe ketchup is the condiment of the gods.
3. And I will eat it with plain spaghetti.
4. And eggs.
5. And expensive steak.
6. And anything breaded, including vegetables.
7. I have six long boxes of comic books.
8. I don’t go to bars unless they do karaoke.
9. I only drink about 2 tablespoons of alcohol a year.
10. And that is only if I’m invited to two or three weddings and need to participate in a champagne toast.
11. I’m allergic to mangoes, artificial fruit flavorings or colors in Fruitopia, penicillin, and ibuprofen.
12. Strong chemical scents like perfumes, candles, aromatic herbs (mint, parsley, cinnamon, etc.), gasoline, and such give me migraines.
13. I draw best when listening to hard rock music.
14. I know how to two-step and line dance.
15. I am never less than 5’8″ in public.
16. I hate the tastes of cheese, watermelon, celery, cottage cheese, licorice, ginseng root, and alcohol. :yuck:
17. Every other food I can stomach to one degree or another. :eat:
18. My favorite cuisines are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, tomato-based Italian, and evil Western BBQ.
19. I find restaurant Mexican food somewhat monotonous and boring: cheese, meat, cumin, adobo, tortilla, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, beans, rice. Reconfigure on the plate and give it a new name.
20. I don’t understand why everything I order at an Indian restaurant always comes out looking like Alpo dog food: diced meat, potato, and carrot chunks in thick brown curry.
21. I prefer my own cooking to the food at most restaurants.
22. I prefer the PRICE of my own cooking to the food at ALL restaurants.
23. My favorite ice cream is Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip.
24. I check all of my financial accounts at least twice a week in Microsoft Money.
25. I save between 14-20% of my gross income every year.
26. I don’t believe in paying full price unless there is absolutely no other option.
27. I don’t like big parties where I don’t know anyone.
28. I tend to have just one good female friend from every important period of my life: childhood, high school, college, Army.
29. None of them live in my state. 🙁
30. I didn’t appreciate my parents fully until I started waiting tables in high school and saw how bad OTHER parents were at controlling their kids in public.
31. I’ve waited tables in over six different restaurants.
32. I can still carry a huge loaded oval tray on one shoulder.
33. I like cats better than dogs.
34. But I still love dogs as long as they belong to someone else.
35. I have sung “Just Around The Riverbend” from Disney’s Pocahontas while canoeing down a river in Austin before.
36. I am a very bad swimmer.
37. I can pretty much only float and backstroke.
38. I was the oversized, bespectacled, fluffy, medium-framed misfit amongst the Asian sprites when I was a kid.
39. I hated sweating and breathing hard in PE when I was in elementary, middle, and high school.
40. I was always picked second to last in team sports.
41. My nickname in sixth grade was “Nikki Sixx” because my waist-length straight hair changed on me and went poufy/frizzy on top, giving me a ‘do that any LA hair band member would have loved to have.
42. I bought my first savings bond when I was six years old.
43. I have no credit card debt.
44. I wish I’d bought a house 4 years ago.
45. I haven’t done a “girl” push-up since 1996.
46. I have automated just about every aspect of my finances.
47. It takes me at least 30 minutes to decide between two similar items when I’m in a store.
48. I am perpetually 30 minutes late to everything.
49. I know this drives my boyfriend crazy, but can’t seem to stop myself.
50. I have been picking up groceries since I was 11 or 12 years old.
51. I hate cardio.
52. Especially running.
53. Weightlifting and calisthenics are my favorite exercise activities.
54. I like to make things.
55. I can draw most living things freehand.
56. I’m terrible at drawing cars, machines, and planes, though.
57. I get withdrawal pains when I’m away from a computer for more than two or three days.
58. I gave up playing massively multiplayer online roleplaying games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft because my OCD mind doesn’t have an off-switch when it comes to addictive games like that.
59. MMORPGs make me fluffy.
60. Gardening also makes me fluffy, since I micromanage and hover over my spring seedlings and planting so much that I don’t have time to exercise in the mornings, LOL.
61. I regularly pay over $50 more for the running shoes that I wear for one hour a day than I do for my street shoes that I keep on for 10+ hours.
62. Normal parties–random people + food + gossip + alcohol–bore me to tears.
63. I am not good at small talk or schmoozing.
64. If I am not enjoying myself, I will leave.
65. I don’t like horror movies.
66. I don’t like award-winning dramas much either.
67. Stupid comedies aren’t my cup of tea.
68. Action movies aren’t worth the money.
69. Wow…I don’t really like movies it seems.
70. I’ll listen to almost any kind of music except smooth jazz because it automatically puts me to sleep.
71. The only thing that will keep me out past 11 pm on a weeknight nowadays is karaoke.
72. My idea of fun is teaching myself how to do something new–draw, paint, type, sew, cook, get in shape, knit, use graphics programs, edit static and dynamic web sites…
73. I could easily do without cable or broadcast TV for the rest of my life; my TV is really just a workout/gaming display.
74. I can speak Mandarin Chinese and English, I understand enough Taiwanese to get by, and I took German and French in school.
75. I spent four years enlisted in the U.S. Army in the Signal Corps.
76. The amount of make up I wear is inversely related to my level of fitness.
77. I live with my boyfriend and our three cats, Slinky, Neville Longbottom, and Storm Shadow.
78. My boyfriend named cat #3. 🙄
79. I don’t need an alarm clock because the cats wake me up EVERY morning at 6:30 am.
80. I leak a few tears in Disney movies when a furry character dies.
81. I’m not as sympathetic about humans.
82. I believe in self-determination, not luck or fate.
83. I have been to Taiwan, Canada, Germany, Spain, Belgium, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Japan.
84. I would like to visit Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, and Russia.
85. I like to read fantasy, cyberpunk (not regular sci-fi), police procedurals, how-to/hobby, fitness/nutrition, personal finance, and Regency books.
86. I try to minimize spelling mistakes, but sometimes typos slip through my mental spellcheck.
87. I have one younger sister who lives and works in Boston.
88. My parents live 600 meters from my current home.
89. I don’t like to watch the news.
90. I only vote during presidential election years.
91. I’m a registered Democrat.
92. I own at least 20 video/computer games I have not yet played for more than 5 minutes.
93. I don’t even want to know how many used books I’ve ordered online and still haven’t gotten around to reading.
94. It has taken me almost 10 years, but my wardrobe’s color palette is no longer limited to the usual Asian staples of black, white, red, and denim blue.
95. I have no problem eating healthy recipes and drinking water all the time.
96. But I still like brownies, Boston cream doughnuts, Bloomin’ Onions with ketchup, orange chicken, ice cream, key lime pie, big greasy burgers, seasoned curly fries, and chewy cookies. 😉
97. I can still do a one-handed cartwheel.
98. I looooooooooove databases, spreadsheets, and CAD software. :love:
99. I wish I knew more about computer programming (next self-education topic!) and 3D modeling.
100. I never go anywhere without my Treo 650.


1. 1/3 c. oatmeal, 3 T. raisins, 1 whole egg, 3 egg whites
2. 1 peach, 1 scoop whey
3: 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/3 c. (dry) oatmeal, 1 c. mixed Mandrain vegetables
4. 1 plain rice cake, 1/2 T. all natural peanut butter, 1 Instone High Protein chocolate pudding
5. 4 oz. chicken breast, 4 c. Romaine lettuce, 2 T. Kraft Free Zesty Italian dressing, 1 peach
6. 1 c. light soy milk, 1 scoop whey

Water: 16 cups

Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D, EAS l-glutamine

Calories: 1455 calories (45.0% carb/42.1% pro/15.3% fat)


* YF Cardio (15 min)
* Treadmill Run (6.8-7.0 mph / 0% incline / 35 min)
* Treadmill Run (5.5 mph / 3% incline / 10 min)

Calories burned: 592 calories

DEFICIT: -802 cal (Target: -632 cal/day)