So, my Senator, Claire McCaskill, lit up Wall Street yesterday from the Senate floor. It was a fantastic speech and something that needed to be said out loud. I used to work for Merrill Lynch and was very proud to have been a part of that institution. It did bother me a lot when the upper management team would receive enormous bonuses compared to regular employees like me. This was especially true during years when the bonus pool was apparently down, and regular employees did not get bonuses that were on par with other years.

Well, it looks like Senator McCaskill has had enough, and she has my support. Here is a video from MSNBC after her impassioned speech.

For those of you that follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I have been calling my son the Pinball Wizard in honor of his mad skills on Mappy, Galaga, Pole Position, and Pac Man. For a four year old, I am constantly amazed how quickly he picks up new (old) games. He has even taken over the high scores on some of the games, but I’m practicing!

So, in honor of my Pinball Wizard son, Noah . . . The Who!

I am very excited to announce that Probstisms now supports Facebook Connect through the Disqus comment system. This means that when you write a comment on Probstisms, you can log in using your Facebook account. Not only will the comment appear on Probstisms, it will also appear in your Facebook news feed. Disqus has indicated that we can expect more great Facebook integration in the future.

Happy commenting everybody!

I kind of expected this, but I managed to lose the holiday pounds I gained over the couple weeks I completely ignored the food I ate. I weighed in this morning at 178 pounds, and of course WeightWatchers yelled at me for losing more than 2 pounds. I’m hoping to get back to losing a more predictable 1 to 2 pounds per week now that the holidays are over.

Next Update: January 19, 2009

On Tuesday, Apple announced the next version of their iLife suite. I have been using iLife since the very first version and have faithfully upgraded with the availability of each new version. While each version has had its own nice new enhancements, I am drawn to this newest iteration more than its predecessors.

What is so special about iLife ’09? Well, let’s start with iPhoto. The features that interest me the most are Faces and Online Sharing. Apple has included face detection and face recognition functionality in iPhoto for the first time, and I could not be more excited. Almost all of our photos are of our kids or friends and family, and I spend a significant amount of time tagging and categorizing our photos by person. The Faces feature will make it so much easier for me to manage out photos that I might actually be able to post new photos before they’re old and dated.

Going along with the Faces feature is the new ability to share photos on Flickr and Facebook directly from iPhoto. I have been using FlickrExport from Connected Flow for quite some time, and it is a great iPhoto plugin, but I am excited to see Apple embracing online sharing sites other than its own MobileMe. Both Flickr and Facebook offer APIs that Apple has been able to use (I assume), and it also appears that Apple has worked directly with both of these companies because the functionality seems to go beyond functionality created by other companies. As a Flickr and Facebook user, I am excited to try the new integration with iPhoto. I have avoided posting any photos on Facebook because I already use Flickr, but now I should be able to share the same iPhoto albums or events in Flickr and Facebook with a click or two. What’s really cool is that the Faces feature in iPhoto works with the tag feature in Facebook. Cool stuff.

I am also excited to give the new GarageBand a shot. With the new MacBook, I will finally be able to connect our Roland digital piano to a Mac via MIDI to see what kind of music I can create. It should be fun to see what I can do. It’s been a long time, but I’m sure it will all come back to me. The piano and guitar lessons will help me along, I’m sure. Plus, how cool will it be to learn Roxanne from Sting and Proud Mary from John Fogerty? I’ll post anything cool I come up with.

Once I get my hands on iLife ’09, I will report back and let you know if it lives up to my expectations. Based on what I saw in the keynote, it certainly looks like an upgrade that everyone will find useful.

My wife, Donnell, has been an incredible advocate for our daughter who has a medical diagnosis of PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified). As I’m sure you can imagine, our daughter’s diagnosis translates into significant social, behavioral, and educational issues at school and at home.

Donnell has taken the lead with our daughter’s therapy and doctors’ appointments and also works with our daughter’s school to make sure she is receiving all of the services she needs to have a successful education. Donnell takes classes from the Special School District here in Saint Louis and has also become involved with the Parent Advisory Council.

On top of all of that, I am very excited to report that Donnell has been accepted into the Partners in Policymaking program. The program provides leadership training designed for adults with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. I cannot put into words how proud I am of her. I know she will do an incredible job in the program and will become an even stronger advocate for our daughter and other children with special needs. I am a very lucky man to be married to such an incredible woman.

Please join me in congratulating Donnell on this extraordinary opportunity.

Thanks to helping my wife, Donnell, eat through two pregnancies and an overall lack of control over my taste buds, I am back on WeightWatchers. Donnell and I used WeightWatchers before our wedding, and it worked incredibly well. It turns out if you actually pay attention to what you eat, you can lose weight. Crazy concept, huh?

Well, we’re back at it again. Donnell worked her butt off in 2008 and earned a cruise for two from lia sophia. We’re very excited about getting a week to ourselves and are very motivated to lose a few pounds.

To share in the fun, I have decided to update all of you every week on my progress. I have been at this for several weeks already so here is a little history. My first official weigh in was on November 7th at 190 pounds. I actually started watching what I was eating a week before that, and I weighted 193 pounds so I tend to think of that as my starting weight. My progress for the subsequent weeks was as follows:

  • 11/17/2008 – 185 lbs
  • 11/24/2008 – 183 lbs
  • 12/01/2008 – 186 lbs
  • 12/08/2008 – 181 lbs
  • 12/15/2008 – 179 lbs
  • 12/22/2008 – 178 lbs

I have to admit that I am very scared to look at the scale on Monday. We have been traveling since last Friday, and we pretty much went crazy with food. With the holidays and family and food like Portillo’s, how can anyone possibly not partake? Anyway, we’ll see where I’m at on Monday, and I’ll provide an update. My guess is that I gained several pounds, but I’ll wait until Monday to weigh in.

If you have any good WeightWatchers stories or opinions, please feel free to leave a comment. It should be interesting to see how things go by the end of March. Stay tuned.