Thursday, December 29, 2005

He's Here!

Jackson Aidan Hatcher was born on December 28, 2005 at 6:11pm CST at Centennial Women's Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 20.5 inches long. Marissa is doing great but is still in some pain. We'll be bringing him home tomorrow night.

Unfortunately Centennial has no wireless access so I'm posting this on a quick trip home before I go back to the hospital. More pictures and updates soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Nice Spring Day

It's 61 degrees here in Nashville as I write this entry. I ended up walking twice today since it was so nice out and I wanted to try out my new pedometer that I got for Christmas. I can tell it's been 10 days since I really walked much since I was feeling it at the end of both walks, but it was very nice to be able to walk without a jacket and gloves on.

Of course tonight and tomorrow there's supposed to be thunderstorms, so I hope that's not an omen for the birth of the new Spawn of Hatch. I think he's anxious to get here too, since Marissa called me and said he's been kicking on her ribs all day.


Another Christmas has come and gone at the House of Hatch. Everyone survived and we all probably put on a few pounds. I've probably put on 10 lbs since my father passed away two weeks ago. I've been off the diet completely but I have been walking some.

My mother, brother and his wife and kids and two dogs came up for a few days last week. They stayed two nights then headed off back to Alabama. It was good to see everyone, but with the two extra dogs and all the people in the house it was a little stressful, especially for Molly the cat.

On Christmas Eve we went to Marissa's uncles house for a Christmas Eve breakfast. It's a large family event and there were probably 20+ people there. I got a nice Alabama T-Shirt which I know was painful for all the Tennessee fans in the family to buy for me.

Marissa, Victoria and I opened our presents from each other on Christmas Eve night. I got a pair of Smart Wool socks and the first two seasons of Family Guy. I also got a pedometer I've been wanting, so now I'll track the number of steps I take every day instead of the number of miles. I'll post about that later.

Marissa's present will get here late, but it's something she really wanted. I'll let her blog about that. I also got her a Dolly Parton CD that she's been craving for a while.

Christmas Day we went to Marissa's fathers house for breakfast and opened more presents there. Marissa got a new tea maker. I got a George Foreman grill which I've been wanting for a while, and Victoria hit the big score with a 4G iPod Nano. It's really nice and we've been fighting over it ever since. I guess I'm going to have to get me one eventually since Victoria doesn't share well with others. Heh.

After we left there we visited Marissa's grandfather in the nursing home for a little while. He's doing better and was sitting up in a chair while we there. He's still suffering from dementia but was able to carry on some conversation with everyone.

After that we went to Marissa's mothers house for an early dinner. It was good but I was still stuffed from breakfast and couldn't really put a dent in it like I normally would. We bought them a bottle of Chardonay which they opened for dinner, and it was nice. I drank half a glass which is more wine than I've had in quite a while.

Yesterday was quiet for the most part. We bought a new video camera that we found on sale at Radio Shack so we can take lots of video of the new baby. We made a quick dash into Walmart, which wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I'm just glad we didn't have to return anything.

So tomorrow morning at 6:30 we're going to show up at the hospital so Marissa can be induced. I'm very excited but I'm also really nervous. I can't wait to see my little boy, but I'm not looking forward to the sleepless nights for the next few months. Stay tuned for pictures and maybe even some video.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Well Lived Life

At age 89, Norman Vaughan climbed a 10k high mountain in Antarctica that was named for him by Admiral Byrd when he accompanied him on treks to the South Pole in the 1930's. He moved to Alaska in his late 60's being nearly broke and restarted his life. He died there today aged 100 years and 4 days. His motto was "Dream big and dare to fail." The man lived.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Days to Remember

There are many days in life that we remember well. One day I remember is December 26, 1987. On that day I sat on a couch in my parents house in Westover, Alabama and watched my father make multiple trips from the back of the house to the driveway, each time toting a large black garbage bag full of his clothes and other belongings. Neither of us said anything to the other, and I didn't offer to help.

On his last trip out, he stopped and tried to explain to me that he didn't love my mother any more, and that this was all for the best. I was nineteen years old at the time, and didn't know as much as I do now, but I remember thinking even then how selfish he was and how he was incapable of telling the truth even when he had to know we knew he was lying. I was so angry with him at that moment all I could do was shake my head and glare at him.

To put this into context, you need to know a few other things about this time period. My parents should have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary just one week prior to this day, but they didn't even mention it to each other. My uncle Floyd, my father's brother, had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm just a few days before, and we spent Christmas mourning him. I had just finished the worst semester of college ever, in which my GPA was a whopping 0.5 for the 19 semester hours I took. This was a time a father needed to be strong and be there for his family, but my father announced he was moving out of the house and into a cheap, run down trailer with the local whore.

The next eighteen years my brother and I spent too much time worrying about my father. Where was he? For five of those years we didn't have a clue. The rest of the time my father spent in jail, halfway houses, or living in various ramshackle trailers, relying on the kindness of neighbors or whatever family members he could convince to help him. Every time he tried to make a clean start, we would be there, but he seldom held off the demons for more than a few months, then the alcohol or drugs would sweep him away and we refused to be part of that lifestyle.

Eventually it all caught up to him and he developed a large aneurysm on his basal artery. He was given six months to live several years ago, but always managed to avoid death from the strokes the aneurysm was causing. He grew weaker and weaker however, and eventually was half paralyzed, deaf, and unable to talk.

December 15, 2005 is another day that I won't soon forget. At 5:30 pm I was still at work, finishing up a project I had spent the last few weeks on. I had talked to my father's doctors several times that day, who had informed me he had pnemonia and was not in good condition, but they were attempting to stablize him and get him ready to go back to a nursing home for long term care. I had given them authorization to insert a feeding tube since my father was no longer lucid and could not make decisions for himself.

At 5:30 I received a call from a nurse at the hospital, who told me that my father had taken a sudden turn for the worse and was having great difficulty breathing. They didn't expect him to last much longer. I asked if he would last long enough for me to drive from Nashville to Birmingham, and she said honestly she didn't think he would. I left work and drove to my house, and after speaking with Marissa and making sure someone could come quickly to check on her, I left Hermitage headed for the hospital in Alabaster at about 6:30.

It wasn't a fun trip. I didn't speed much, but I spent the whole trip wondering if I'd make it before he stopped breathing. My brother, uncle, and two aunts were already at the hospital and I got regular updates from my brother. They had put my father on a CPAP machine to help him breath a little easier, and my brother and I discussed that somewhat while I was driving down. My father had "do not resusitate" and "do not incubate" orders already.

I arrived at the hospital at 9:45 pm that night, and after I talked to my brother and my aunt Naomi we asked the nurses to remove the CPAP machine, and they did so about 10:30. We all stood there with my father as he struggled for breath, and I was still holding his hand when he took his last one just before 11:30 pm. He never regained conciousness that evening.

We buried him on Sunday afternoon in the Columbiana City Cemetary next to his mother. It was a brief ceremony and almost everyone there was a relative. My brother Brian, my uncle Eugene, my cousins Clay, David, Shawn and I served as pallbearers. My cousin Stephanie read a hearfelt letter to my brother and I that my aunt Naomi had written, which was much more truthful than the brief message that the preacher who barely knew my father delivered.

As is a strange tradition in my family, we watched the backhoe dump the dirt into the grave and the workers finish filling it in with their shovels. Then we stood around and talked for a while before drifting away and I drove back to Nashville to be with my very pregnant and beautiful wife, who was worried about me and upset that she couldn't make the drive down for the funeral.

I forgave my father years ago. I know some people don't understand that. I still don't understand completely, but I have forgiven him. The thing I grieved for at his death was the waste that the last 18 years of his life became. There was no reason for him to be dead at age 66. No reason he shouldn't know his grandchildren or enjoy his retirement. No reason for every conversation with him over the last 18 years to always include an apology for what he had become. He did this to himself with the choices he made. I think my real father died on December 26, 1987 but it took 6,564 days for the shell he had become to finally waste away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I just got back from my lunch walk and I pushed it and did the 1.7 mile loop in 35 minutes. That's about 20 minutes a mile, which is not great, but it's not too bad considering I'm wearing my heavy hiking boots and a lot of that route is uphill, especially at the end. The 1.7 mile loop is also a great indicator of my mental fortitude, as there are opportunities to cut it short

I've already walked more in 3 days than I did all of last week. Here's a chart summarizing the last 10 weeks of walking plus the first 3 days of this week. My walking weeks start on Sunday.
As you can see, a good week is usually followed by a down week, which should get better as I lose more weight and stress my feet and knees less. I'm going to try for 10+ miles this week as I close in on my next goal of 280 lbs.

Hatch Heart

I started seriously dieting and exercising again 91 days ago. At the time my resting heart rate was about 85, which was not so great. This morning my resting heart rate is 68, which is much better. It's much easier for me to catch my breath after walking now as well. When I started three months ago I'd be breathing hard for five minutes, but now it's more like a minute or two. I've still got plenty of gut, but it's much easier to lug it around now.

I'm down to 286 pounds with this morning's D.B.A.N. I'm back in the groove with the low carbs so my goal by Christmas is to reach 280. That may be tough, but I think it's possible to achieve. My right foot is still giving me some problems with what is probably some tendonitis, but I'm making myself walk at least a mile a day even with the pain. I have to push through it, cause thong season is rapidly approaching.

I probably shouldn't admit this, because I'm sure my wife will be horrified, but I've been doing my own version of fatboy aerobics in the basement at night after everyone else is asleep. I just put on some crappy music and then start moving around. I highstep, lunge, stretch, dance, do squats, or anything else in sort of a freestyle movement exercise. I basically just want to work up a sweat for about 10 minutes, then cool down and go to bed. I've only been doing it for about a week, but I already feel more limber. I've also started doing a few crunch type movements to work on my abs, but since ab work is the the part of exercising that I absolutely despise I'm working myself up slowly for that. For me there's nothing worse than sore abs. Ugh. I know, I know, that just means I need to do more of them. Back off Heff!

After a visit to the OB/GYN yesterday, Marissa is scheduled to be induced on Dec. 28th, so that's the day I get to see my boy for the first time. We thought she might deliver on her own earlier than that, but there was no further dilation from last week. I was hoping we would do it on the 27th since that was my Granddaddy's birthday, but the doctor is off on Tuesdays and didn't want to do it that day.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Misery Loves Company

I'm not really miserable right now, just tired. It's hard to get all the thoughts to stop spinning around in my head at night so I usually spend about an hour or more tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable place on the couch or the bed.

I first reached 290 lbs on November 18 in my current quest for delardification. I bounced up a little at Thanksgiving but went back down to 290 within a week. I'm still at 290 today, but I suspect I'll go below within a few days. It took a few tries to get back into the low-carb groove, and my recurring problem with the top of my foot aching caused me to only walk about 3.5 miles last week.

This is my 4th day with no cheating on the carbs, and I walked a mile last night with the dachshund. Things should return to normal soon and the weight should start coming off again. Luckily, Paul Clemmons has been entertaining all his Big Tobacco cronies the last few weeks and has reportedly been gaining weight like a fiend. Maybe we can start the new year off on an equal footing.

Marissa has been having a lot of sleepless nights this past week. Last night at Midnight the baby was kicking and wiggling more than I've ever seen him do so, causing much pain for his Momma. She goes to the OB/GYN this afternoon and we should get the schedule nailed down for inducement around the 27th. She may not make it that far, though.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wrapping Up The Week

I'm very glad it's Friday. It's been a long week and is most likely a prelude of weeks to come. I need to start getting more sleep to prepare for the arrival of Jackson, but sometimes just closing my eyes and sleeping is hard to do.

Marissa went to the OB/GYN this past Monday morning. After speaking with the doctor they decided to induce labor just before the end of the year, but the doctor thinks he may decide to arrive on his own before that. Monday night Marissa was feeling bad and having problems with her stomach. She couldn't decide if it was contractions or nausea. Later that night she started having really loose bowels and about 1:30 in the morning she started "bazooka barfing" and couldn't even keep a few crackers with water down.

We talked to the doctor about 2am and she told us to try to keep her hydrated and to call the office Tuesday morning if things didn't improve. I managed to grab a few hours of sleep that morning, but Marissa may not have really slept at all that night. After talking to another doctor around noon, they decided we should take Marissa to the hospital so they could start an IV to make sure she wasn't dehydrated.

So we got to hospital about 1:30 and they put her in a room and checked her urine. Her ketones were 2+ which they said indicated she was dehydrated. They said they'd give her one bag of IV fluid then she'd probably go home, but after that first liter she was still too high on the ketones, so they gave her a second bag along with some anti-nausea medication. We left the hospital about 6pm and went home and put Marissa to bed and me soon after. We were both exhausted, but Marissa especially was since she hadn't really slept.

She felt much better the next day and everything seems to be fine now. She goes for her weekly checkup this Monday and we'll find out then what day she'll be scheduled for induction.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Final Countdown

Marissa decided to go to the OB/GYN this morning. She wasn't scheduled to go until next Monday, but she had what she thought were some contractions over the weekend and felt really tired, so she called this morning and went in at 9:15.

At this point she's dilated to 1.5 centimeters, so final operations have commenced for the arrival of the next little Hatch into the world. The doctor also agreed to set a date of the 27th, 28th, or 29th of December to induce labor if he hasn't made it out by then.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hatch Dragging

Sorry about the delay between updates. After taking most of last week off from work, I've been pretty busy this week with meetings and deadlines. Several people are taking off all of next week so we're pushing to get some things done around here.

The diet and exercise is progressing nicely again after the Thanksgiving debacle. I ended up gaining four pounds before I got back on the low carb diet this past Sunday, so I was at 294. This morning I was back down to 290 and I should be able to cruise down lower fairly quickly I hope.

Since I cut the carbs out again starting Sunday my butt has been dragging the first few days of this week, but I've still been making myself walk. After my walk at lunch today I've already put in 8.4 miles for the week, and this may be the week I break my mileage record since I started recording all of this over 8 weeks ago.

Marissa went to the OB/GYN this past Monday, and everything is still fine with her and the baby. Her blood pressure was up a little the week before, but now it's come back down to normal levels. She's still in nesting mode, but I think she's almost got everything she wants for the baby and the baby room.

My Petzl helmet finally arrived yesterday from It's really nice, but it may be a little tight thanks to my Hatcher head. I adjusted the head band as wide as it will go and it will go on my head, but it's tight. The chin strap is also tight at it's maximum length, but losing more weight will take care of that as the Hatch jowls begin to ebb. I think getting another short haircut will help too. My hair is a little woolier than normal right now.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Write It Off

OK, this whole week has been a complete write-off as far as diet and exercise goes. I'm back on the low carb diet starting today, but I probably gained 5 pounds since Tuesday. I'm still below 300, so the battle was not completely lost.

We had a good Thanksgiving meal, with only a few heated arguments amongst the in-laws. The Honeybaked Ham was excellent as always, and I finally finished off all the dressing yesterday morning. We still have half a turkey breast that hasn't been touched that I'll eat on early this week.

I did enough hits on MTurk by last Tuesday that I ordered my Petzl helmet with no money out of my pocket. I'll be working on earning some Christmas presents next so we can save on spending that. Our 13 year old dryer finally gave up the ghost last night, so we had to order a new one from Home Depot today. Thankfully Marissa's grandmother gave us some money for the holidays to spend on the house so that didn't bite us too bad.

We're still planning on pulling up the carpet in the basement and getting the concrete stained. I'm going to try to initiate that this week to see if we can get it finished before Christmas. Sir Blubbly better prepare himself for some heavy lifting soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving Bloat

I really wanted to go below 290 before Thanksgiving got here, but I seem to be on a plateau again. I've slacked off a little on the walking in the last week, so that would most likely account for the fact I haven't lost as much. I'm thinking it might be time to move the weight bench down into the basement soon and start throwing some plates up. When I was at the House of Heff last I lay down on his bench and did one rep of about 140 pounds. I used to work out regularly with more than that, so I probably need to add some more muscle to keep the calorie and fat burn going. The good news is that Paul Clemmons let the Big Tobacco Lobby influence him yet again and has chosen to completely go off his diet for the last week or so. I'm sure Sir Blubbly is packing on the weight even as you read this.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Shame on Heff

Well apparently Heff sent me a heavily modified copy of the group shot of the Hatchers and the Heffers taken at his house last weekend. I accidentally discovered his shenanigans and I've carefully restored the photo to its original format, which I present to you below. I just think the truth should always be first and foreskin when it comes to photography.

Must Catch Paul

Fellow fat boy and low carb enthusiast Paul Clemmons, who as far as I know is still closely affiliated with the Big Tobacco companies, has a different approach to the low carb lifestyle than I do. He likes to cook more and have a greater variety of food, while I like instant gratification and can eat the same stuff for weeks on end.

I've been trying to avoid eating mostly fatty foods this time around on the diet, so I don't go for the chicharrones too often. This week however, while getting a diet coke at the local Mapco I noticed a new offering from Golden Flake which was hot pork rinds with Louisianna Hot Sauce. I bought a bag and they were good. Very good. I know any yankees reading this are recoiling at the thought of eating deep fried pork skins, but hey, you shouldn't knock it til you try it.

I also tried the new low carb version of Reese's Cups last night at the basketball game when I was working the concession stand. Two cups has 1 net carb and they didn't taste too bad. The peanut butter is drier than the normal ones, but it was nice to have taste of an old favorite without feeling guilty about it.

I'm down to 290 pounds this morning, so the combination of sticking closely to the low carb diet and doing a lot of walking is really paying off this time. I'm actually considering skipping the dressing and potatoes for Thanksgiving this year, but honestly I don't see it happening once the meal gets here. The best I can hope for is to only blow it out on the carbs for one day and then get right back on track.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Quick Update

I'm down to 292 pounds this morning, so the extra walking and sticking firmly to the low carb diet is paying off nicely. I only walked 1.5 miles yesterday at lunch, but I had to help some friends from church move last night so that made up for it. Since the wife is going to be busy at a shower this weekend I'm thinking about hitting a trail somewhere around Nashville on Saturday. Maybe one of the Warner parks or an extended trip on the greenway.

Here's a picture of the Hatchers and the Heffers from this past weekend at the House of Heff. I still definitely look fat in that picture, but you should see the picture from 32 pounds ago. I apoligize for the crappy orange and blue stuff Heff and Donna are wearing. Some people just weren't raised any better. Check out that beautiful pregnant woman, though.

Monday, November 14, 2005

24 Hours in Bama

We drove down Saturday afternoon to Columbiana for a baby shower that was held Sunday afternoon. We ended up taking Marissa even though we originally didn't think she was going to make the trip. She did good on the way down, and spent most of the trip laying in the back of the Montero listening to me cuss at the Alabama/LSU game on the radio.

That evening I walked from my brother's house to Heff's house and back, which brought my weekly walking total up to 12.6 miles. This is the most I've walked in one week since I started tracking it 6 weeks ago. My next goal is to get to 14 miles a week but it may not be this week since my legs still feel like they're shot.

We visited with Donna and the Heffer for a few hours and when Heff forwards me the photos I'll post a group shot. I was disappointed a little since there was no cheeseball awaiting me and the grill was never fired up. There was chili but I was a little afraid of the possible carbs so I passed.

On Sunday we went to church with my mom, ate at Bernie's as is the required tradition, and then showed up at my cousin Sam's house for the baby shower. The loot was plentiful and the Montero was so stuffed that Marissa couldn't lay down in the back for the return trip to Tennessee. Highlights of the gifts include a Diaper Genie, the swing Marissa was craving, and lots of diapers and wipes and other needed baby equipment. Even my old Tuba buddy Dick Sturm showed up and I got to catch up with him for a while.

It was a good weekend but we were all really tired when we made it back to the house. I'm still dragging this morning and I'll probably try to go to sleep early tonight. Time to go get more coffee. I'm at 296 lbs this morning, so no major weight changes over the weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of the veterans I know for their service. That list includes Jerry and Alison Morris, Mike Ray, Chris Whitworth, Bill Wilkins, Jimmy Disney, my dad James Hatcher, my uncle Eugene Hatcher, my cousin Keith Wortham, and anyone else that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

If you're interested in learning more about the history of Armistice Day, or Veteran's Day as it's now known, check out the article at Wikipedia.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hatch Goes Round the Block

I did my long route today at lunch. It's 1.7 miles and there are a few hills on it. It's funny because when I start walking most days I'm a little stiff. By about the three minute mark the joints and the muscles get unkinked and things start feeling pretty good. The first leg of my walk is slightly downhill so by the time I cross Natchez Trace I'm feeling pretty good.

That's where the first uphill section of this particular route starts. About halfway up the hill I start cussing myself for deciding on the longer route today. About one hundred strides later I'm cussing myself for even walking today. Then I switch gears and start cussing myself for becoming such a fat slob and I make myself go a little faster. Finally I finish the loop back to Natchez Trace and it's downhill for a little while.

By the time I start going up the second hill, I've burned out most of the anger and I can just concentrate on finishing the walk. The only time this section is bad is when the grandmother with the cellphone catches up to me from behind and blows past me while talking the whole time.

I had read and heard it said before, but I guess I never really understood it until now. If you've had kids you surely know this, if you haven't you too won't understand until you do. The experience of laying in bed next to your wife with your hands on her belly and feeling your unborn child kick and move and wiggle around is one of the most profound experiences I've ever been a part of. I know it makes my wife uncomfortable, especially when the baby is moving around so much it looks like an alien is about to burst through the skin, but to me it's simply amazing. All the worries, fears, and trepidations that go along with being a husband and father disappear for those few moments and I find myself grinning like a kid on Christmas morning.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Night Shift

I signed up for Amazon's new program Mechanical Turk last week. My goal is to make enough to pay for the new Petzl Ecrin Roc caving helmet I want. Since you can never have enough blogs I also started a new blog called Turk Lurker to chronicle my experiences and observations.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Walking Update

Here's the graph for the last five weeks of walking. This past week wasn't so great since I only walked 3 days, but I actually got more mileage in than in two of the previous weeks. At least Bill the Blister is gone this week, replaced by the Callous Heff.

Four Days Later

So it's been four days since I last posted. In that time a lot has gone on. I blew the diet out and I'm back at 300 lbs this morning. No worries though, since I'm starting back on the low carb train until Thanksgiving. I think this time of year gives me too many excuses to cheat a little on the low calorie diet, and cheating a little leads to cheating a lot.

Despite this recent setback, I'm still happy with my progress. Marissa commented yesterday morning when I was getting dressed about how my legs and butt were looking much more muscular and well formed, so all the walking I've been doing has started paying off.

Speaking of walking, I got some funk on the top of my left foot which I ended up having to put a large bandage over for the weekend after I scratched it so much it started bleeding. I get lazy in the mornings and wear the same socks another day or three. Getting a few more pair of Smartwool should help out with that a good bit since I'm rotating between two pair right now.

Last Thursday night I joined the Nashville Grotto, which is a club affiliated with the National Speleological Society, which I also joined last week. I got several offers from people to go caving this past weekend and next, but I had to decline for now. I'm not going to disappear in a cave for several hours cut off from all communication until after the baby is born. I also want to get my own helmet and light gear before I start deep delving so I won't have to borrow from anyone.

My Mom was in town since Friday night so we enjoyed having her with us along with Prissie Sue the dachshund. Prissie is about 14 years old so she has no patience with Annie our dachshund who still acts like a puppy. Prissie just ignores her for the most part which drives Annie insane and she hops around barking at her.

Mom is going with Marissa this morning to her OB/GYN visit. Marissa has been going through a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions recently and she was up late last night with those. My wife is a worrier by nature, so I try to get her to relax more and I've been doing a lot of back and foot massaging to help her do so.

My sinus problems have finally cleared up and I'm sleeping much better as a result. I only slept about 6.5 hours last night since I stayed up late watching TV and talking to Marissa, but I feel pretty good this morning. Compare that to last week when I could sleep for 8 hours and still feel like nodding off at lunch time.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thanksgiving Ahoy!

I reserved a nine pound Honey Baked Ham for Thanksgiving. The lady asked me how many people I was trying to feed and I had to tell her that the number of people being fed is meaningless since the real objective is to get a ham big enough that there's enough left for Thanksgiving Day after my wife and I pick at it for two days. Now I just need to find a turkey that weighs at least 25 pounds and the feast will be coming together nicely. Everyone come on over for supper at the Hatcher house!

Menu So Far:
Honey Baked Spiral Sliced Ham (probably down to 4 lbs by this point. Heh.)
Big Honking Turkey (we rub it down with butter, olive oil, and stick an orange inside it)
Homemade Mashed Potatoes (Marissa's mother makes about 10 lbs worth)
Giblet Gravy
Sister Shubert rolls
Macaroni and Cheese (A requirement from my wife and kid.)
Cranberry Sauce
Lots of Desserts (Pumpkin pie, ches pie squares, etc.)

After I got home last night, I ate my supper which finished up a 960 calorie day for me. While my meal was cooking I asked Victoria if she had any math homework for me to check. She made a D in math on her first report card this year so now I want to see every piece of homework she has for that subject. She told me that she had already done the homework in class so "I know they're all right."

I told her to bring down to the kitchen table anyways and let me have a gander at it. The homework dealt with adding and subtracting negative numbers, so the first problem was something like 4+(-6) and she had written an answer of 2. Wrong.

The next one was -6-(-6) and it was wrong. I went through all 16 problems and 14 were wrong. Thanks for playing! Next, please!

So I stood in front of the chalkboard we have in the kitchen and taught a math lesson for 30 minutes then she had to do every problem over again while I ate my 300 calorie TV dinner.

In other math news, thanks to walking the dachshund an extra mile last night and staying under 1000 calories for the day I weighed in at 294 this morning. For those of you not keeping up that's a total of 30 pounds lost, or 324 +(-30) if you're in 7th grade math at MJCA.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

One More Time!

One more Happy Birthday that I completely forgot about. My friend Paul's little brown woman's birthday is today, so happy birthday Ferlie! Paul's child bride is finally a teenager now I think. Heh.

I think I'm done with birthday's for a while, but I'm sure I'm forgetting somebody.

So I've been stalled at about 298 lbs for about 2 weeks or so now. My low calorie regimen is working to maintain me at this weight, but since I've cheated every few days lately I haven't lost anything. Last night for example Marissa and I went to a Japanese steakhouse for her birthday dinner. I had the filet and scallops along with some sushi to start things off, plus I ate Marissa's vegetables and some of her chicken. Ugh. Hatch stuffed. I was at 296 yesterday morning and today I'm at 298 thanks to that meal.

On a positive note, I am still walking, but I won't get as many miles in this week as I did last week due to my blister and still having sinus problems. I ended up naming the blister Bill and I curse him constantly while I'm walking and I also make fun of his spelling skills.

Anyway, things will get better soon and I've still lost 26 pounds. I did the 1.7 mile walking route at lunch today and no blisters or joints complained too much. I'm contemplating trying a new route tomorrow which includes a pretty steep hill. I need to get serious for the next 3 weeks and peel off some more weight before Thanksgiving, and hauling 298 lbs up and down a few steep hills is a great way to do it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Birthday!

My beautiful and very pregnant wife Marissa has a birthday today. She's 29...again! Happy birthday baby! Even if you were like 32 or something I couldn't love you more! Can you imagine a woman putting up with me for almost 4 years? I know plenty of people are shaking their heads in disbelieve right now.

Oh, and a certain dillhole in Columbiana turns 38 today as well. He may be skinnier than me, but I have all my hair and I'll always be younger. Heh.

Monday, October 31, 2005


My friend Mark "Mok" Alexander would have turned 38 today, but he didn't. After 12 years I still don't understand why, but I know he was my friend and he'll always be missed. Happy birthday dude and I'll check in on you in a few weeks.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Breaking D.B.A.N. News

My weight is officially down to 296 today. The walking and low calories are paying off. I only walked half a mile today since the blister on the ankle is still pretty painful. I'm still on track to walk more than 10 miles this week though. My sinuses are better but there is still lots of drainage and a little bit of a cough.
Halloween Comes Early to Hermitage

So about five months ago, just before I started my current job, Marissa and Victoria went to Miami with her mother and I spent about four days in Shelby County visiting my mother with Annie the dachshund. At some point during that time one of our cats, who we called Baby disappeared. Either my sister-in-law let her out when she came to feed them, or I did before I left to go to Alabama. Either way she was gone when we returned after Memorial Day.

Now my wife and daughter have been suspicious of me during the last five months, because I've taken cats to the pound before and I had been grumbling about having too many animals. At the time we had two dogs and two cats and it was about two too many. Marissa even asked me in private if I had done something with Baby but I swore I hadn't. Honestly, I figured she got out and a raccoon ate her or she got run over and the vultures got her. She was fairly scrawny. Marissa and Victoria have maintained the firm belief that Baby was taken in by someone and was being taken care of.

So this morning as I'm getting ready for work, Marissa starts saying "Alan! Alan! Come here quick," from the kitchen. I go in the kitchen and look out into the back yard with her. Just past the trampoline next to a tree is Baby walking towards the back fence. Marissa goes out on the deck and yells "Baby!" and the cat turns around and looks and meows and then starts walking again. Marissa goes out into the back yard and calls her for about five minutes, but didn't see the cat again.

I still feel like I saw a ghost. Now I just need to figure out if I didn't tie the burlap sack tight enough or if I didn't put enough rocks in it. Heh, heh, heh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hatch Got a Boo Boo

Well, I pushed it during my lunch walk today and walked a total of 1.7 miles by adding an extra block on my route. Unfortunately, a few hours later I started feeling the beginnings of a blister on the back of my right ankle. After peeling off the boot and the smart wool it's about the size of a nickel and had already burst and mostly peeled away. I'm currently letting it air out under my desk and hoping no one notices the odor. Heh. I've already acquired bandaids from the first aid kit for later. I'm not letting it discourage me, since my feet have to get used to my boots once more and I need some calluses in those spots again anyway. I guess it's time to get some Moleskin.

Here's a map of my various walking routes. I found a steep hill close by that I'm going to add a route to soon. Click on the image to make it larger. The green route is the one I walked today. The brown route is a total of 0.5 miles roundtrip down to the Harris Teeter grocery store and back.

The Awful Green Things from Hatch's Space

The Dayquil is keeping my sinus problems in check for the most part, but when I wake up in the morning after sleeping for 8 hours I'm miserable still. I might have to set my alarm to get up about 3am and spend some time clearing things out and take some more medicine.

The scales read 296 at first this morning, but then became completely unreliable. I'm not going to officially say I'm down to that weight yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm close. The adjustment to the low calorie diet has gone pretty well for the most part and I haven't even had to eat many baby carrots to stave off the hunger pangs. Actually, I haven't eaten any of them yet now that I think about it.

The feet are feeling good today, so I'm going for the 1.1 mile walk at lunch. I did that yesterday and also walked the dachshund last night for another 3/4 of a mile. She's lucky she's still breathing since she completely destroyed our nice comforter yesterday while Marissa was at her bible study. She pulled out most of the stuffing and now she's going back in the crate when she's left alone. No more free range wieners at the Hatcher house for a while.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Happy Birthday Bubba!

My best little buddy turned 7 today, marking the end of the October birthdays obviously designed to make Uncle Hatch feel really old.

Happy Birthday Garrison Edward Hatcher!

Uncle Alan loves you and will see you soon!
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

Today's the 590th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. It's a great object lesson in how important well disciplined troops and battle terrain can be. The Agincourt article at Wikipedia makes a great start to find out more about one of the greatest butt whuppin's the French ever took.
Hatch Boots Are Made For Walking

My feet are feeling much better today although there are some small twinges. I wore the boots to work again today and I may make it a regular thing since my goal is to get into hiking shape anyway. I walked the 1.1 mile route today at lunch and while there was some minor discomfort at first about half way through things started feeling pretty good.

I didn't get as winded on the uphill part today as I did even just a week and a half ago. I really need to find a steep hill to walk up at least once a week. I walked up a nice one this past Saturday at the lake and when I got to the top two whitetail deer bounced away from me. They were close enough I could hit them with a rock. That is if I had a rock and could actually hit a barn with one from 10 feet away, which is not a given for me. Heh.

I've been tracking my walking for the past 24 days now and updating a spreadsheet with the results. Yes, I love spreadsheets so make as many snarky comments as you want, it's not going to change anything.

I walked on 19 of the last 24 days for a 0.79 ratio. My total distance the last 24 days was 26.6 miles for an average of 1.4 miles/day for the days I actually walked or 1.1 miles/day spread over all the days.

Here's a chart of the last 4 weeks. The 4th week isn't finished until Saturday so I expect I may go over 10 miles this week if nothing starts hurting too bad.

14 Minutes

Marissa and I toured the Women's Hospital at Centennial Medical Center yesterday evening. We got to see the labor and delivery rooms, which are very nice and talked about all the procedures and exactly where I should come into the hospital with my wife and at exactly what point I should start yelling and screaming and causing a ruckus. It turns out there actually is no appropriate point for the ruckus raising. Huh...weird.

Anyway, at one point they showed us a nursery and through the glass we could see them working on getting what was obviously a newborn cleaned up. The dad was standing inside next to the nurse watching her work on the baby. The rest of the family was on the other side of the glass with us and the tour guide asked what time he had been born. One of the relatives said "5:58." I looked at my cell phone and it was 6:12. Fourteen minutes old.

That had me thinking curious thoughts for the next little while. Fourteen minutes. He's been breathing for 14 minutes. I had been breathing for approximately 19,766,000 minutes at that point. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but that's the kind of stuff that runs through my head all the time. Welcome to your small peek into Hatch's head for the day. Drop something in the tip jar on your way out.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Hatch can't breath so good today. My nose is really stuffy or really runny, it alternates several times per hour right now. It's not green anymore, so I guess that's a good thing.

As expected, my ankles are aching a little today. I wore my boots to work and I walked a half mile at lunch to the store to get some Dayquil and keep everything stretched out. I didn't take any pain killers before the Dayquil, so it's not unbearable pain, but I don't want to overdo anything and not be able to walk for several days.

I was at 300 today, so I'm bouncing up and down from 298 to 300 every other day. I think the switch to the new diet style and continued exercise should help the weight start coming off again in the next few days. This is my current plan:

Breakfast: 1 Bowl of Product 19 with 0% milk. 150 calories
Lunch : Two sandwiches. Bread x 4 = 140 calories Meat slices x 4= 240 Calories Pickles = 20 Calories Mustard = 0 calories
Snack : One small bag of pretzel sticks = 110 calories
Supper : One Frozen Healthy Choice Meal = ~325 Calories
Hunger Pangs = Baby Carrots = Negligible Calories.

Total Calories = 985

The bread is a lower carb variety that has 5 net carbs per slice and only 35 calories.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Sidewalk Was Angry That Day My Friends

My sinuses have really been acting up the last couple of days. It was causing an itch somewhere between my throat and my right ear that kept me up most of last night with lots of sneezing and snorting thrown in as well. I really and truly did not want to go do the Heart Walk today, but since I conned so many of you into making donations I felt guilty.

So after skipping church, eating lunch with Marissa and Victoria, and then dropping the pregnant woman off at her mother's house, Victoria and I drove towards Vanderbilt and got there about 1:30. By the time the walk started at 2:00, the temperature had dropped down into the 4o's and the wind was blowing pretty good. Just as we got started I told Victoria, who was my little skinny popcicle at this point, that to make it a perfect day it should start raining. About 10 minutes later, just as we turned onto West End Avenue, it did. Not hard mind you, but just misting enough to make it feel even colder.

I made myself finish it though. We went 3.2 miles and it took us about 68 minutes. It's the farthest I've walked at once in probably 2 or 3 years. I wore my hiking boots and I'm not too sore right now, but I think my ankles will probably be complaining for a few days.

I'm also going off the low carb diet today and switching to a 1200 calorie or less diet for a while. I need a break and the low carb thing is just getting old. I've been on it for 40 days now and I've lost 26 pounds. I'm not eating nearly as much food every day anymore, so I think doing the lower calories should be easier for me at this point. I guess we'll see in a week if I've lost any weight or not.

Despite the stuffed up sinuses, it was a great weekend. Watching Tennessee fumble out the back of the end zone and Auburn bounce one off the goal post were definitely the high points. Driving home from a cookout at the lake yesterday evening, I got to listen to the lamentations of the Volunteers on their postgame call-in show. It's a great thing to see their spirit broken like it is right now, especially when you have to live and work near so many of them.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Oops, Missed It

I can't believe I forgot to post about it this past weekend, but October 15, 2005 was my 5th anniversary of quitting smoking. Yes, I took my last puff off a cigarette in Nashville on that day five years ago and haven't looked back. About a month and a half later I was struggling to make it to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London and that's when I promised myself I would get into better shape.

Speaking of shape, it hasn't been a great week for walking since the top of my foot started killing me after my lunch walk on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon I could barely walk at all. I think it's a complete lack of arch support in my work shoes, so from now on I'm going to bring my sneakers to work to walk in.

I even blew out the diet Tuesday night by going to Cici's Pizza Buffet after an argument with the wife. Despite that, I have still lost weight this week and today I'm at 298 for a total of 26 pounds lost so far.

I also surpassed my AHA Heart Walk goal this week thanks to some generous friends. Feel free to still contribute if you're moved to. Victoria and I will be walking this Sunday afternoon at 2pm near Vanderbilt. It's a 5k walk which is about 3.2 miles. That's further than I've walked in one day for quite a while, but the route is mostly flat and I'm going to wear my hiking boots for extra arch support.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cheap Blog Readers?

Of all my possible blog readers, only Poobie has donated for my AHA Heart Walk this coming Sunday, and he has a wife in med school. Are my 7 other loyal readers going to stand for that? I would hope not. Even Burt donated and we all know tight he is.

So please Click On This Link and make a donation. You can even add a challenge or dare to your donation. You can rename one of my pets for a week, challenge Hatch to finish the 3.2 miles under a certain time, or get to see that picture of Will and Burt kissing.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sneezy Monday

I spent some time on Saturday and Sunday organizing and cleaning out our garage. I've still got plenty of work to do in there, but at we can put the Montero in and not have to turn sideways to get to it. The dust has severely messed up my sinuses, so I'll try to wear a dust mask next time I get in there to finish up.

I hit 300 lbs for real on Sunday morning and I was at the same weight today. I didn't walk too much this weekend due to some lingering foot pain, but the exercise from cleaning the garage made up for it some. I'm slowly, and I do mean slowly, trying to add just a touch of abdominal work. I did some leg lifts and a few pitiful crunches last night. There's still a lot of gut down there and tearing up my abs when I'm this big is not a pleasant thing to do.

My newest favorite low carb food is a big bag of frozen Tyson chicken tenderloins. I throw about 6 of them on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes in the oven. I squeeze a little ranch dressing onto each one then sprinkle with Tabasco Chipotle and it's a pretty good supper. I may cut a slice of cheddar to go with them if I'm really hungry. A bag runs about 8 bucks at Kroeger and it provides about 4 or 5 meals, so it's a pretty good value.

So today is 34 days on the current weight loss plan. I'm over my bread cravings for the most part. I can watch people eat Cracker Barrel biscuits and cornbread and not have too much jealousy pop up. I just calmly eat my turnip greens and visualize myself jumping rocks in the Savage Gulf or pulling myself out of Sinking Cove Cave next spring. Yaulp!

Friday, October 14, 2005


This week has mostly been a wash as far as the weight loss plan goes. I reported last Sunday that I was down to 300 pounds, but that seems to have been a bit premature. The next day and everyday through yesterday it was stubbornly stuck at 304 again. This morning it was back down to 302.

I think I overdid it last week, especially last weekend. My knees and ankles complained loudly through Wednesday night. Today at lunch was the first time since Sunday that I walked over a mile, and it felt pretty good with no pains. I'm going to do one 2 mile walk on the greenway either tomorrow or Sunday and a short distance the other day. Doing 5 miles in two days last weekend just did too much wear and tear while I'm still this heavy. I won't do that again until I'm down below 275.

I ate with Marissa at a Chinese buffet for lunch Wednesday. I didn't blatantly eat a lot of carbs, but I was out of ketosis for a day or so. No real harm done, since I'm following the same pattern as 2000 when I lost weight. I go for about 4 weeks of strict adherence to the low carb plan then I ease up for one meal. I should be able to go close to Thanksgiving now without cheating. Patience is the key, now. I won't see five pounds melt away in a week anymore, so I have to be satisfied with 2 pounds or so every 7 days.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Lizziepoo!

To continue a month of making Hatch feel older, my niece Elizabeth Megan Hatcher turns 9 years old today. My little Lizardbreath is almost into double digits. That's hard to believe. I love you to the moon and the stars sweetie!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I nearly wet myself when I saw the latest headline at tonight. Looks like Uncle Bull has started a new job there.

Happy Birthday Dave!

There are certain moments in life that are frozen in almost perfect clarity. There's the time I broke my arm jumping out of a swing about 12 feet off the ground. I sat there on the ground and looked at my right arm, which having both bones broken appeared to have two wrists that dangled my hand uselessly back in forth like a slinky.

Then there's a time about 11.75 years ago in Alabaster, Alabama in the mop room at the back of the FoodMax. I'd been working there with Heff for a while mopping floors for 20 dollars a night. We usually rode there together from Columbiana but since Heff had been dating a girl named Janesa we had lately been arriving separately. I was in the back filling up the mop machine when Heff walks in, taps out a cigarette, lights it and stands there like he's wanting to tell me something.

I wait patiently for a few minutes, then he looks up at me and says "Janesa's pregnant."

I stand there stunned for a second then my mouth opens and I said "Is it yours?"

I don't know exactly why I said that, even to this day. I never liked Janesa it's true, but I don't think I ever would have conciously said those words, even to Heff. A lesser friend might have taken a swing at me, but Heff just stared at me a second and incredulously said "Yeah!"

So about 9 months later James David Falkner was born. I was at the hospital when he came out and Uncle Hatch has always been proud of the little bugger. Happy 11th Birthday Dave! You're making Uncle Hatch feel really old today.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Walking Totals

Here's my walking totals graph for the week ending this past Saturday. I totaled 11.9 miles for the week and averaged 1.7 miles a day.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sunday Afternoon

Annie and I walked 2.6 miles today on the greenway. We started from the Percy Priest Dam trailhead this time. I hadn't planned to walk that far today, but that particular section of the greenway doesn't really have any hills worth mentioning so I walked a little further to make up for that.

Annie, being the typical dachshund, is fine with people walking on the trail, but she doesn't like people running and she goes ballistic when she sees other dogs. She also has a bad tendency to want to walk on the opposite side of the trail from the one I'm walking on. This is not good because bicyclists have a bad habit of not calling out when they're about to pass you from behind so I've had to yank her out of the way a few times. Is it so hard to call out "left!" when you're coming up behind someone on what is basically a silent bike? At least go with the old tradition and put a baseball card in your spokes. Heh.

I also walked around Kroger tonight with Victoria, so I've gotten a good bit of exercise in this weekend. My back and ankles are aching some, and I actually walked enough that my ab muscles are complaining a little. I'll probably only walk a little tomorrow to let things rest up a little.
Weekend Update

I took it easy for the most part on Friday. Marissa and I had supper at Chili's that night and I had the Portabello Fajitas. It's an extra two bucks, but adding the big shroom onto it is worth it. Chili's doesn't really put enough meat on their fajitas in my opinion, but I have them hold the green peppers and then mix in the cheese to make it my favorite low carb meal right now.

We went to the mall after dinner and I did end up walking a little over half a mile there after I bought some new boot laces and tried to find Marissa. I checked out some caving gear I want to buy soon. I'm planning on spending a little extra and getting a Petzl Ecrin helmet since head gear is probably not something you want to skimp on.

With my new laces installed on the hiking boots, I wanted to wear them on the greenway on Saturday. I couldn't find either pair of Smart Wool socks, so I dug into our master closet and ended up washing about 5 loads of clothes. Since I've lost a good bit of weight already, I found a lot of clothes I haven't worn in a while and got them washed and ready. My size 44 pants are starting to fit a little loose, so I should be able to move into my old size 42 stuff soon.

After I found my socks, I laced up the old hiking boots and took the dachshund out to the greenway. I'd forgotten how comfortable those boots are to walk around in. Having all that extra ankle support and shock absorption from the Vibram soles makes you feel a lot better about walking, even though the boots are a lot heavier than my sneakers.

I pushed myself harder this time and added another half mile with a round trip total of 2.4 miles this week. This also included a fairly steep hill going up to the halfway point. From past experience, when you're trying to loose weight and push your endurance, hills are your best friend. The more elevation you can force yourself to do, the faster that fat burns off.

I keep forgetting to take my camera out to the greenway when I go. Yesterday there were two really pretty herons on the water, plus there's a really big ground hog that has a burrow about 30 or 40 yards off the path.

I know you're all wondering about the latest D.B.A.N. This morning it was right at 300, so I've lost 24 pounds and should crack under 300 in the next couple of days. I still haven't cheated on my low carb regimen. I've had some dreams this past week that I cheated, and I had some real cravings yesterday afternoon, but I resisted. At this point my goal is to not cheat until Thanksgiving. There's no way I'm not going to eat a bunch of dressing with my turkey. I'll be right back on it the next day though.

My first long term goal is to do a long hike in the Savage Gulf area the weekend of my birthday, March 26. It'll be about a 10 mile hike with about 800 feet of total elevation change. Everyone is welcome to join me. That's a little over 5 months from now, so I'm shooting to be down to at least 250 by then. I think 10 pounds a month on average is doable.

Ok, I'm off to walk on the greenway again. Can't have that dachshund getting chubby on me.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

2005 Heart Walk

On October 23 my daughter Victoria and I will be walking in the annual American Heart Association's Heart Walk. My employer is sponsoring several teams this year and we all have personal goals of raising $200 for the AHA.

As most of you know, I received a pacemaker implant back in January of 2004. Even though I'm no longer dependent on the pacemaker, I still have a keen interest in keeping up with research in heart disease, which the American Heart Association is a great supporter of.

I'm also in the beginning stages of a long term plan to change my life style from fat couch potato to healthy outdoors stud. I started on September 13, and in the last 23 days I've dropped 20 pounds and I'm walking almost 2 miles a day.

I'm asking all my friends, family, and strangers who happen to stumble over this blog to consider making a donation to the American Heart Association by clicking on this link. Thanks in advance from Alan, Marissa, and Victoria.

Please feel free to post the link to my AHA website on your blog or website. Every donation helps. Here's the full link:
Wednesday Night

I made it to the Nashville Grotto monthly meeting last night at the Adventure Science Center here in Nashville. There were about 25 or 30 people there and I met a lot of nice caving folks. Someone gave a slideshow presentation showing how he had visited approximately 100 caves in Tennessee and North Alabama during the last 12 months. Very impressive and informative. I'm definitely going back and I'm going to be joining the local grotto and the NSS. There are a lot of vertical caves that the grotto members visit regularly, so being able to go up and down 200 feet of rope is a great incentive to keep dropping weight.

After I got home last night about 9:30 I changed into my walking outfit for my nightly 1 mile trip. I had a lot of energy when I started, so I actually jogged for about 50 strides on three separate occasions during the walk. This is basically me starting to do some interval training, so if I can keep it up along with my good diet habits there should be no problem with me being in good hiking/caving shape by the spring.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fat Memories

On May 12, 2004 I weighed 281 pounds. So in one year I packed on 43 pounds on top of already being fat in the first place. Oh well, at least I'm losing again and I'm a lot more serious about it this time.

I did my 1.1 mile walk today at lunch. I'm going to the Nashville Grotto caving meeting tonight and I'll walk another mile when I get home and get the wife tucked into bed. So far this week I've been eating about 1000 calories a day with less than 10 carbs, and except for Monday I've walked at least a mile each day. This morning I was down to 304 or 305. My scales still suck, but I'm down almost 20 pounds in 23 days on my current fitness plan.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Another Boring Walking Post

Since it's been getting a little cooler and my wind is getting better I added another block to my walking route at work today. After I walked it I drove it and it's 1.1 miles. It also has a nice uphill segment so there was some extra burn there.

I walked another mile tonight about 10 and I've still got a lot of what feels like nervous energy. I think getting lots of sleep last night probably helped with that. Speaking of which, it's about time for some of that now.
When I Turn Sideways, I Disappear

OK, not really, but I am down to 306 this morning. The plateau has finally been overcome and hopefully within a week I'll move below 300. I walked for 15 minutes at lunch yesterday, and had planned to walk last night, but after I ate supper I just became exhausted and could barely hold my head up. I snoozed on the couch most of the evening and then slept from 10:30 til 7, so I'm feeling very refreshed this morning.

It's already great not to have an extra 18 pounds to lug around anymore. I picked up a 20 pound bag of dog food at the grocery store this week to remind me of how much weight that is. Now imagine carrying five of those bags strapped around your waist every day and that's what I've been doing for the last 4 years. Gravity sucks. Heh.

I'm also planning to go to the Nashville Grotto meeting tomorrow night. It's the local caving society and I'll probably become a member. One of my goals for 2006 is to make a trip back to Sinking Cove cave again. You have to hike up the side of a mountain, slide down a huge sinkhole, crawl under a waterfall into a hole, then follow the water down the mountain underground for about 2 miles. There's another entrance I didn't do last time where you have to rappel into the cave, so I'm hoping to learn some rope techniques and try that sometime as well.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Weekend Update

During the day Friday I took two 15 minute walks around the block at work. I've got a nice little route going and the weather was perfect Friday for walking at a brisk pace and not sweating too much. I met Paul for supper about 6:00 and we ate the huge Ruby Tuesday burger sans bun and a trip and half to the salad bar. I ate too much, but there were practically no carbs involved.

We walked from the Ruby Tuesday to the movie theatre to see Serenity. It should have been a 5 minute walk, but some construction was in the way. Paul had the brilliant idea of taking a route through Dillards and the mall. So instead of a one minute detour we took almost 20 minutes to get to the movie. Never follow a Clemmons anywhere. He's got no sense of direction. Must be how he was raised. Heh. (Just kidding Mrs. Clemmons!)

Anyway, Serenity was truly an incredible movie. I rarely gush over a film, but I plan to see it again in the theatre and definitely buy the DVD when it comes out. Paul and I agreed that to come up with another Scifi movie that was this good, you have to go all the way back to Aliens or Empire Strikes Back. It's seriously that good. If you like Scifi at all, go see this movie.

So Saturday I didn't feel so great when I woke up. I might have overdone it slightly on the walking on Friday. I was still at 308 of course. I'm on a serious plateau right now. I pretty much stayed glued to the couch, especially when the Alabama game came on. What a great game. Unfortunately I made the mistake of watching Prothro break his leg frame by frame. Nasty break. I hate to see him go, but I don't think it should kill our chances this season. If our defense keeps playing the way they're playing we should be able to dominate other teams like we did in 92.

After church today I dropped Marissa off at her dad's house and Victoria and I hit the greenway. I walked about 1.7 miles in about 35 minutes. Not very fast, but I maintained a good walking rate and wasn't heaving at the end. It's sad to go as hard as you can and your 12 year old daughter is staying about a quarter of a mile in front of you telling you to hurry up. Then earlier tonight I walked the dog about 3/4 of a mile, so I put in 2.5 miles in today. I'm going to have to keep this kind of thing up so I can bust through the plateau. I can't be too upset though, tomorrow will be my 21st full day on my plan and even if I'm still at 308 that's 16 pounds in 21 days which is not too shabby.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Hatch Rant - Gyms

Gyms suck.

I feel like I'm ready to start adding resistance training to my current regimen, and my employer offers to reimburse about 20 bucks a month for gym membership. Now I know the YMCA is going to charge me $54.00 a month. It's on their web site. I could probably get it down a little bit if I didn't get the city-wide membership, but from my previous Y experience, it's nice to go to some of the different facilities around town because they have different equipment, classes, and such.

There's a brand new Gold's Gym right next to my local YMCA, and there's a World Gym in Mt. Juliet that's on the way to my daughter's school. So at lunch today I decided to call them to see if their rates were comparable or hopefully even less than the YMCA.

I call World Gym first and spend 5 minutes hemming and hawing with the guy on the phone. First he tells me there's "about 30 different payment options depending on what you want." I tell him that's fine, but just to get a baseline what's the price for a single membership per month if I sign up for a year? He goes into more doublespeak before finally saying he can't really give out rates over the phone, I'd have to come in for the tour. I got mad at this point and said "Well why the hell didn't you say that in the first place when I told you I wanted to find out some rates?" Then I hung up.

Then I called Gold's Gym. The guy there was a little more helpful, but he still went through a whole canned sales pitch and seemed determined to try and get me into the gym today. I told him there was no way I could come in today, so he starts telling me that it's the end of the month and the rates are going up tomorrow. If I came in today he could probably sign me up for somewhere around $39 to $49 a month, but tomorrow it would probably be around $65. I'm pretty sure this is probably complete BS, and I'll find out when I call back next week and let all my readers know.

During each phone call, I felt similar to the way I feel when I'm in a car dealership. What I really want is for someone to open the equivalent of a Carmax gym and just tell me what the fricking rate is every month. Is that too much to ask?

So at this point I'm going to use the old garage weight set and maybe sign up for the YMCA membership again in a month or so. At least they have a nice large heated indoor pool so I can swim some laps, which Gold's and World Gym don't have. It won't be as nice as the 5 million dollar Gold's gym, but I guess I can do without the plasma monitors on the treadmills and cycles.
Oh Woe is the Plateau

This is my third or fourth day at 308 pounds. I haven't cheated at all, and I've been walking more, so I'm not too worried yet. I guess I'm going to have to haul my lard ass out to the greenway this weekend and get some serious calorie burning going.

On another note, Paul and I are going to see Serenity tonight. That lousy S.O.B. Steve Jackson got to see a sneak preview of it last night and said it was awesome. I really hope it does well enough that SciFi or Fox will consider bringing the series back.

Secret Message : Pipart? You still bwow me.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Heartache of Polanski

Articles like this one on make me ill. Roman Polanski lost his mother in a Nazi death camp and lost his wife to Manson, so we should all forgive and forget the fact that he's a child molester? At one point the article says that Polanski is "Exiled from the United States..." Nice pandering by the reporter who wrote this. Get a clue. He's not exiled, he's a fugitive from a crime that he pled guilty to. He had sex with a 13 year old girl and chose not to take any responsibility for it. He shouldn't be allowed to even show movies here. Pervert.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Penny Arcade

I've never read Penny Arcade before, but Steve Jackson pointed it out today and I took a look. It's been a few hours and I'm still giggling over the last ad about the Snake Cover in Monday's Edition.
Top 10 Reasons the TOL Sold Out

From the home office in Coontown, Alabama we've just received from Heff the latest Top 10 list. Actually it was a top 8, so I've taken the liberty of adding a few to round it out. So now, without delay, we present The Top 10 Reasons the TOL Commander Sold Out!

10. Being rebellious without a cause just getting too damned old.
9. Need wampum to purchase new guitar to be pawned to be featured as new "Guitar of the Past."
8. Trying to raise enough cash to afford "The Big Breakfast" for Heather.
7. Hiring half naked ho's every Friday more expensive than first thought.
6. Rent money, rent money, rent money.
5. Having the T.O.L. silkscreened on thongs to be worn by countless females across the world just too cool NOT to do.
4. Using Cafe Press much more affordable than opening "The Trailer Of Worthless Crap."
3. Two words : DENTIST BILLS.
2. Big Bill demanding even more of his lunch money these days.
1. Jimi the dog finally fed up with being forced to lick other people's privates for cash.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Break on Through

So by late last week I was down to 314 pounds, which was a total of 10 pounds lost. I was on that weight for a few days which was my first mini-plateau. I knew I was going to have to up the exercise level to break through it. My friend Brian from church had asked me to help move him out of his house into an apartment they're going to be living in while their new house is being built.

So I showed up at his house Friday night about 7:30 and helped empty out his garage and put it all in the garage at his new apartment. This took about 3 hours since he's sort of a packrat and the garage was stuffed with junk, including a couple of nice big workout machines. About 10:30 I stumbled home covered in sweat, took 3 Tylenol, and passed out. My legs were rubber the next day and my back was threatening to start spasming, but I was down to 312 that morning.

I spent about 5 more hours on Saturday helping move the rest of the house, but I wasn't nearly as useful as I was the night before. I stuck hard to the diet throughout though, so as of this morning I weigh 310, which is a total of 14 pounds lost in 14 days. Not too shabby. Now I've just got to be sure to keep up the exercise level so I can power on down below 300 in the next two weeks.

I'm doing something different for lunch this time around. I go to the supermarket deli and have them slice up about 3lbs of smoked turkey breast in slices that about as thick as you would normally get bologna sliced. It costs about 20 bucks for that much meat, but spreading it out over 5 days at lunch makes it only about 4 dollars a day, which is very reasonable. I throw in a few slices of cheddar as well.

Supper has been mostly omelets or fried eggs along with a big sturdy glass of Metamucil. I've taken Uncle Bull's sagely advice and cut way back on the hot sauce, so things down below are much less painful this time around.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Heff Smash!

At the risk of my PG-13 rating, I give you Heff's latest photoshop. I think he's trying to encourage me to work out and stay on the diet, but it will probably just scare the next young child to stumble over my blog.

I'm on my 10th full day of the diet with no cheating incidents yet. I've lost 10 lbs and my pants are not a threat to take out anyone's eye when a button pops off.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


This blog is rated PG-13. People's mother's read this blog, so please keep the comments as clean as possible. I just had to remove a rather nasty comment that involved my wife, who is very pregnant. I seriously don't need anything making her even more emotional right now. I also removed Heff's long boxing comment because, well, it was a LONG boxing comment. Feel free to target me as much as you want, but please leave family out of it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Happy Birthday McRay!

My old college buddy Mike Ray turned 40 today. I first met Mike over 19 years ago at the University of Alabama and shortly thereafter he snuck me into the first bar I'd ever been to in the US. I can't even remember the name of it, now. It was on the strip, though. Tempus fugit.
Top 10 Reasons Heff Never Leaves Columbiana

10. It's the only part of Shelby County that has been declared a Mullet Refuge.
9. PT Cruiser takes too long to get up enough speed to get over that hill to Calera.
8. Halloween warrant from Chilton County still outstanding.
7. Bob won't let him take any time off.
6. Twenty-five years of Playboy magazines can't be left alone at home that long.
5. Driving that far might actually involve buying gas more than once a month.
4. An ex-wife/girlfriend in every surrounding city.
3. Mame cabinet construction much more important than visiting friends.
2. Can't leave computer because he might miss the next exciting Trailer of Love post.
1. If you can't roll the windows down and feel the wind through your hair why bother?
Hatch Suffers

So practically everyone in my office went to Monell's today for lunch. I've never been there but have heard many good stories about it. It's basically a sit-down all you can eat Meat and Three. Everyone crowds around big tables and they pass around big bowls of whatever they're serving that day and you eat as much as you want.

People at the office said things like "Come on, Hatch, you've been good this week, it won't hurt." I resisted though, because I've been flawless on my low carb diet for 4 days now. My energy boost kicked in today and I even walked around the block for 15 minutes at lunch today. My crappy scales were giving the typical wild readings this morning but I believe I'm down 5 pounds since Tuesday morning. The weekends are always the biggest test, so stay tuned Monday for more updates.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reasons to Lose Weight

1. Live to see my daughter get married.
2. Live to see my son grow up.
3. Live to see my grandkids.
4. The ability to have a job that doesn't involve sitting in a cube all day.
5. Be able to drive up I65 and kick Uncle Bull's ass.
6. Be able to drive down I65 and kick Heff's ass. (And stop at McRay's for ribs.)
7. Hiking, biking, and being able to walk down the sidewalk without sweat pouring off.
8. Saving everyone money on broken chairs.
9. Belly button could potentially be fully cleaned out.
10. Added gas mileage on the Honda.

Feel free to add more.
Sincere Apologies to Paul Simon

Hello Ketosis, my old friend
You've come to stalk my breath again
Because my belly softly creeping
Rolled off the bed while I was sleeping
And the fat cells that were planted round my frame
Still remains
Within the fat of Hatchness.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Man

I'll never see this movie. I wouldn't even bring it up normally, but I think the previews for this movie have struck me as some of the most uninteresting and boring dreck I've ever seen. I mean I've never watched a Pauly Shore movie, but at least I've giggled or smiled at something in the previews for them. How utterly bad does a movie have to be when you can't come up with a single funny moment to put in a preview? Does anyone really want to watch 90 minutes of Eugene Levy anyway? What kind of dirt did the producer have on Samuel L. Jackson to get him to appear in this? Well, he was anxious to appear in the recent Star Wars movies, so obviously he's lost his touch on picking the best projects to appear in.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Line of Hatchers

Sadly, the Hatcher line turns into gypsies and coal miners when you go only a few generations back, so we don't know anything past my grandfather's grandfather. Here's the direct line as it will stand come this December.

Jackson Hatcher
--Aus C. Hatcher (Maybe Ausc Hatcher)
----Luthor Vernon Hatcher (His brother was James Arthur Hatcher)
------James Aubry Hatcher
--------James Alan Hatcher (Yours truly)
----------Jackson Aidan Hatcher

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Jackson Aidan Hatcher

So most of you probably already know from emails, but we found out a week ago today that our baby is going to be a boy. We were all standing in the examining room looking at the black and white images of the ultrasound when Marissa started pointing at the screen saying "What's that?!?"

The technician said she thought it was the umbilical cord, but kept moving the probe around and suddenly this huge phallus came into focus. The boy is hung like a bear, I'm telling you. Victoria was disappointed since she wanted a little sister. I honestly would have been happy with either but I sort of wanted a boy more.

I actually spent the last few months alternately imagining a little girl or a little boy, so the potential little girl faded out of existence last week, which is a little sad. We're all really excited though, and can't wait to meet our little man this December.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Riding the Storm Out

What was left of Katrina came through the Nashville area this morning. The worst part of it seems to have gone through the western end of the metro area, and we're on the east end so it wasn't too bad out our way. We all ended up sleeping in the basement last night just to be careful, although I stumbled upstairs about 5:30 and went back to sleep in the cool comfort of our bedroom. The A/C doesn't work very well in the basement and we're too cash strapped to get it serviced right now, so it wasn't very comfortable down there for this F.H.W.B.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Since I'm back in Nashville full time life gets busy and since none of my former blog buddies want to play with me it's just not as interesting. Hopefully their tears and other drippy things will dry up soon. It's hard being the only heartless bastard in my corner of the blog neighborhood. Maybe one day I'll find someone that can take the heat as well as dish it out. Apparently Mr. Croft is looking for some "Hatch Luvin" (tm), at least judging from his last comment anyway.

I'm taking a break from poker right now, but will probably start playing some more freerolls soon. I'm thinking of becoming the first professional freeroller. I'm sure the endorsements would start rolling in fast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Boring Blogs

Someone broke my heart by passing along the news that someone else found my blog to be boring. I'm doing my best here people. I'm a 37 year old fat white man. I have a wife, a kid, another kid on the way, and a mortgage. There's not a lot of stuff going on that others would find exciting. It's a great life for me though.

I suppose I could tell stories about ripping off people less fortunate than me, or scour the web for pictures of women my 37 year old weiner would never hope to even be in the same room with, but I have higher standards here at the Wayward Hatch. Heck, I could even buy a PONTOON boat and act like it was the greatest thing ever, but I'm not so full of testosterone to inflict that kind of torture on my friends and family.

So I'll keep posting things that matter to me. I mean, it's my blog, so I have that right. In the end, this is a journal for me to share my experiences and opinions with anyone that might happen to care. Even if no one else read it, I'd keep writing it. It helps me to keep my focus and avoid dumb mistakes like buying a PONTOON boat.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Life With a Pregnant Wife

Marissa had a weird night last night. She probably drank too much caffeine during the day and started acting a little strange around midnight. About 1am she woke me up talking. I couldn't understand her at first, but after she repeated it several times I finally heard her say "Did we go out to Ferlie's farm?"

Then about 3am I wake up and Marissa is standing at the foot of the bed holding one of my feet. She puts it back down on the bed and proceeds to wrap it up in the comforter. She claims I was shaking my foot during my sleep and keeping her awake.

We're halfway folks. Hopefully Hatch will survive it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Rah rah rah

So last night was the first Junior High football game for Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, where Victoria just started 7th grade. She's on the cheerleading team, so I showed up at 6:30 yesterday evening to show my support.

It was hot. Hot and sticky, with absolutely no breeze. It wasn't as hot as sticky as say New Orleans or Mobile is this time of year, but at my size it might as well have been Eufaula, Alabama. Sweat just poured off from just sitting in the stands. Then after about half an hour, a huge swarm of gnats showed up. I could wipe the back of my neck with my hand every 30 seconds and have about 10 gnats on my palm. Someone finally passed out a can of Off and people descended on it like it was the last drop of water in the Sahara.

To top it off, the home team lost to Red Boiling Springs, but not as badly as they did last year. Yes, there's a town in Tennessee named Red Boiling Springs. It's waaaayyy up in the middle of nowhere northeast of Nashville, up in tobacco country. It reminds me a lot of Calcis or Sterrett back in Alabama, although the school there is the standard red brick construction just like SCHS where Heff and I attended.

The opposing team had one player in the #70 jersey that I think may have been bigger than me. For a minute I was afraid Uncle Bull had finally made the drive down I65 to finish our "power struggle" but then I drank some more Gatoraid and came to my senses. That was one big corn-fed boy, I'm telling you. He was knocking around our little sixth graders and putting them flat on their Wilfreds.

I'm just glad we didn't have to drive there this year. I paid $2.53 a gallon for gasoline last night, which is the most ever for me personally. I'm really glad I have the Honda at this point. That 38 mpg is really sweet and I only have to fill up every other week. Marissa's SUV needs to be traded, but I'm pretty sure we're still upside-down on the loan.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Vassar Clements

There was sad news out of Nashville yesterday as legendary bluegrass violinist Vassar Clements passed away at the age of 77. About 4 years ago I went with my friend Jason to the Station Inn downtown where Mr. Clements was playing fiddle with what was basically a local pickup band that had a German banjo player. They had never practiced together, but Clements would just start playing whatever song they picked seemingly at random. You could tell he was a true master of his chosen instrument.

Speaking of which, the violin he's played in recent years has an interesting history. Its true origins may never be known, but it is at least 300 years old and has been handed down personally from musician to musician. Hopefully this will continue and it won't wind up in a museum somewhere. Whatever musician gets it next will have some big shoes to fill.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Baby Update

So Marissa is in her 20th week of pregnancy, putting us about halfway through the process now. You can check out her baby belly on her blog. She's having a good bit of pain in her back and hip, so I try to massage her as often as I can. I keep trying to bring home treats to make her happy, but her tastes change so often it's hard to keep up.

In about two weeks Marissa will undergo her first ultrasound, so we should know whether it's a little Hatch or Hatchette that's looming on the horizon. We got the changing table put into the baby room this past weekend so now we just need to paint and get the crib put in there to get the room completely set up.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Memories of South Georgia

Looks like Wilfred finally got all those pictures organized and set them to music in a beautiful and poignant montage. (Montage is a collection of pictures for those of you from Midlothian.)

I think some of them are pictures Heff sent from his last family reunion as well. You sure got a purdy mouth Uncle

Speaking of something purdy, here's Uncle Paul after he fell into that vat of hair growth formula that Granny cooked up last week. Over 400 posts on the Hatch Blog now, and this is the first nipple shot ever.

How Did It Take Him So Long?

There's a new reality show coming up on VH1. Gene Simmons' Rock School.

"In Gene Simmons' Rock School, the fire-breathing, blood-spitting bassist of Kiss tries to turn a classroom full of prim and proper British prep-schoolers into a hot and heavy rock and roll band. Gene is invited to Christ's Hospital, a 450 year-old boarding school outside London. There, the students wear uniforms, march in procession, and study classical music."

If there's a quick buck to be made, Gene is all over it. Paul Stanley will probably make a guest appearance to teach the kids how to wear high heeled boots and cover for your lead guitarist when he's too coked up to sing his lyrics.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Today's Duh Moment

Wow, I probably never would have realized a FICTIONAL book might have
lies, distortions and errors. Thank goodness we have a world full of idiots to protect us. They also want the FICTIONAL movie to feature an acknowledgement that it's fiction.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Heartbreak of Heff Loss

In more midweek news, Heff is still missing from the blogosphere and is presumably still being whipped into blogless submission by his ex-girlfriend, who apparently drove off with his boys stuffed into the glovebox of her truck.

In what may be related news, the House of Hatch received this week a tiny envelope with only the word "Midlothian" as a return address. Inside were found two dried up pea-like objects and a note that simply read "T.M.S."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Weekend Update

I placed in the money in two 2000 player tournaments in a row this weekend. I came in 90th on Friday night and 100th tonight. A grand total of 50 cents won. I think I am getting better at these tournaments. I placed in the money or bubbled out just short in most of the ones I've played in the last few weeks.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Amazing Tale

A true badass Canadian war hero was recently laid to rest. The man lived. He "used to kill enemy troops with a half-metre-long, Indian-style warclub bristling with nails." I hope somebody writes a book about him someday.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Lamentations and Gnashing of Teeth

So how tight should you play when you're on the bubble of a large tournament? I don't know why I'm asking this question here, since I'm not sure anyone that reads this blog actually plays poker.

Here's the situation earlier tonight. I was sitting in about 50th place in chips with 120 out of 2000 players left in the tournament. I was in ultra tight mode obviously. In the big blind I was dealt the dreaded Hilton sisters. At this point, this was the worst of the 4 hands I would play with at this point. Someone in middle position raised it to 6000. Small stack on the button pushes. I think about it a second then push in the rest of my chips, which was about 12k. The guy thinks about it a second then calls. He's got me covered by about 1000 chips.

He shows AJo and of course an Ace hits on the flop and I'm whining like Uncle Bull having to go out with the boys without his boys.

Aggression got the best of me here. I should have put him on an Ace and just called the raise to see the flop. With a flopped Ace I would have played a lot more carefully. I lost my concentration and got into a routine.

Early in the tournament, I only play AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AKs, and AKo usually. If I do play them I just push in. With 1900 people standing in the way of you making the money, it's a great strategy. With only 120 left I have to play a lot smarter and get more information by seeing the flop. My opponent probably shouldn't have called that large of a raise with AJo, but it paid off for him in the end obviously.
Tuesday Trivia

1. What is the proper name for a castrated bull?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hatch - 4 Blogs - 0

"Heff's gone, gone, gone, like a sad, sad song, on a record made of wax, Blog O'Heff ain't coming back." - (sorry Mark Collie.)

Ok, it wasn't really me that killed Blog O'Heff. It was a bad break-up between Heff and his HO, I mean SO (Significant Other). At least it went out with a bang with alcohol, cops at the house, and goats scattered all over the neighborhood. Heff even pulled a Reetha and woke me up at 3am to share the news. I've known Heff for about 25 years now and I've only seen him really angry once about 8 years ago or so. I'm betting this would have been twice had I been there.

Someone else will have to console Uncle Bull, since I'm not allowed to talk to him anymore.