NES Classic

Nintendo is releasing a new console, the NES Classic. It’s basically like all these little systems you see around that have 50 or 100 games built in. I’ve seen these around for the Atari 2600 and the Sega Genesis for years. The difference is that this one is from Nintendo itself, and it looks incredibly cute and causes me some serious nostalgia.

I had an original NES as my first video game system when I was a kid. Yes, I’m that old. I’m trying to get used to that fact. Anyway, I loved that system. I loved Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and all the other games I had. Most of all, I loved spending time with friends and cousins enjoying something as simple as Paperboy.

Unfortunately, the new miniature system won’t play most of those. It only comes with thirty games, won’t play any of the old cartridges, and has no way to add any new games to it. But hey, it at least has a couple of those I’ve mentioned, and some other really good classics, so there will almost certainly be something there that everyone loves. And I can’t imagine this little thing not making a cute accent piece in a lot of living rooms.

But if you’re looking for a system that will actually play all the old cartridges you’re going to have to get an actual old NES, or one of the clone systems sold all over the place, like this one sold on Amazon.

Writing in the summer

Hello Everyone!

I am discovering that it is very difficult to write during the summer. Actually, I’m sort of re-discovering that. I now remember how hard it was for me to do last year.

My wife has summers off. We spend much of our time going and doing little things like eating out, walking, just hanging out and enjoying the extra time together. It’s a huge perk of her job, and a huge reason I’m happy to be writing instead of off working in a cubicle.

It is, however, making my latest stories (still kind of working on two at the same time) come along a little slowly. For sure, I am definitely getting a lot of things worked out in my head and will be able to fly through the writing when summer ends, but for now the words aren’t going onto the screen all that quickly. I promise I will keep everyone updated on the next book, though, and hopefully my current readers will all enjoy it and new readers will like it as well.

eating out on a diet

It’s not that hard to eat out when losing weight!

Yes, I know this is a little different than my usual posts. Here goes…

I used to always worry about that. I was quite surprised that it really isn’t. We like to eat out now and then. It’s part of our entertainment. We’re actually quite easily pleased, so we don’t even need to go any place fancy. I’m talking fast food, mostly, and the occasional trip to someplace somewhere you have to sit and wait for your food.

I grew up in a tiny town, so there weren’t a lot of options when it came to eating out, and that made dieting while eating out very difficult. We now live in KC, and in the past month I’ve probably eaten out about 15 times, and I’ve lost several pounds in the process. What I do is have a small breakfast– a couple of pieces of toast usually– and then spread my calories over the remaining two meals of the day. I have a cheat day, Saturday, where I’ll expand my allowable calories by about 450. So far it has worked well.

You can eat at some place like Taco Bell for lunch and get only around 400-500 calories if you get their meal deals. The lowest calories among those is probably the Gordita, hold the sour cream. I usually make it veggie, replacing the beef with beans. Not because I’m vegetarians, I’m not, I just don’t like to eat meat all the time and really like the veggie tacos that Taco Bell offers.

I also find the $5 meals at KFC are great for a dinner. The calories aren’t that high in them, so as long as you balance it with a smaller lunch you can have your fried chicken fix on a diet. Plus, you get a cookie! I just calculate the cookie into my calorie count and it all works out well.

Another place you can go for either a lunch or dinner is Panda Express. Surprisingly, you can get the ala-cart boxes of chow mein and do very well. Stay away from most of their chicken and you’ll be fine, really. I like just a box of chow mein for lunch, or the chow mein plus some spring rolls (including their sweet & sour sauce) for dinner. You can also go for their rice, it’s similar calorically. This all makes a very good meal.

I eat Hardees for their Big Hot Ham & Cheese. It makes a great larger meal. At Burger King you can have their veggie burger or the chicken sandwich. Chipotle is wonderful, if you avoid the sour cream in your bowl and avoid getting chips and salsa with it. We even eat pizza from Little Caesar’s about once a week. We just split a cheese pizza down the middle and have it for dinner. I end up keeping my lunch small that day, but it works out.

For the times we want to sit down a little longer we can go to Pei Wei and I get their lo mein with veggies and tofu. It is actually a much lighter meal than it sounds, and I don’t even need to worry about a small lunch with that. I know some people don’t like tofu, but theirs is good. I can’t make it work at home, but theirs is great.

Recently I was introduced to Noodles & Company. There has been a time or two that we have gone there and I have ordered the large chicken noodle soup and a salad and struggle after that to come up with enough calories on the day. The chicken noodle soup there is so low calorie!

The point of this rambling work of art you have just read is that you can really eat a lot of places when you’re on a diet, you just have to stick to a calorie count. The big trick that has helped me is to eat a meal bar for lunch. I used to eat Special K (chocolate peanut butter, or double chocolate), but recently have switched to the Aldi brand in the same flavors. The Special K ones may be a smidgen better, but not enough to justify the difference in price. Anyway, these meal bars are very filling, so I toss them in with my lunch when eating at home and it fills me up pretty well.

Can anyone tell I was hungry when writing this post, and was just writing what I was thinking about?