We’re preparing to leave for our holiday trip to Illinois, where it’s currently raining ice, according to my mom.  I hope that stops before we hit the road tomorrow.

I’m giving myself a week away from the programming job when we return to Tennessee so I can get organized for the new year.  I’ve got a ton of audio and video files (raw footage from Fat Head, my songs, speeches, cruise roast, etc.) scattered haphazardly across multiple external hard drives, so getting those arranged in some kind of logical order is tops on the list.

I’ve also got research papers and links to research papers scattered across three computers and in different folders on each computer.  Since one of my goals for the year is to finish the book and companion DVD Chareva and I have outlined, I need to get all those papers together, review them, and organize them by topic.  I also need to at least start thinking about the roast I’ll be delivering for this year’s low-carb cruise.

One project I already completed is an updated version of Fat Head, which will be available soon.  I cut about 8 minutes from the film and added a section at the end explaining how my diet, health and life have changed in the past three years.  I’ll provide more details when the new version is actually available.

I’ll resume regular posting in January.  In the meantime, I’m re-posting the dietary version of “A Christmas Carol” that I wrote last year.  Happy Holidays, everyone.

How Tiny Tim Got McScrooged

ZZZZZZ. ZZZZZZZZ.

Woooooooh! Woooooooooh!

ZZZZZ – !!

“What? What’s that noise? Is somebody there?”

“Yes, Senator McGovern, somebody is there. And I’ve come for you. Woooooooh!

“Hey! Enough with the Wooooooh stuff, okay? I was a bomber pilot in the war. I’m not afraid of ghosts.”

“You will be. Woooooooh!

“Oh yeah? Well, if you’re a ghost, whose ghost are you?”

“Richard Milhous Nix—“

AAAAAAAAAAGGHHHHHH!!!!

“Geez, calm down, George. I’m not here to hurt you.“

“Well then, what the heck do you want?”

“To deliver a message. Let me make this perfectly clear: Three more ghosts will enter your room tonight.”

“Ahh, your White House plumbers are back in action again, huh?”

“Not spooks, George. Ghosts. And you’d better pay attention to what they show you.”

“Fine, I’ll pay attention. Now go away. I have nightmares about you as it is. Didn’t even win my own state, for the love of–”

“Okay, I’m going. You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore. Woooooooh!

“Three more ghosts … bah, humbug! Just a bad dream, that’s all it was.”

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Geooooooorge! Geoooooorge!

ZZZZZ—

“Now what? Who is that?”

“It’s me, George. Teddy Kennedy.”

“Teddy! Great to see you! What are you doing here?”

“I’m the Ghost of Government Past.”

“A ghost? But you’re all wet.”

“I drove here.”

“I see.”

“Come with me, George. We need to visit your past. There, look down. See?”

“Hey! That’s me, conducting my hearings on the Dietary Goals For America! Aw, boy, Teddy, weren’t we a bunch of optimists back then? So sure of ourselves, telling everyone else how to live right.”

“Indeed, Senator. You really put the ‘govern’ in McGovern, George.”

“Yup. We were so full of promise, always trying to do some good.”

“Yes, George, your intentions were good. No matter what else you see tonight, remember that: your intentions were good.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course. Huh … ”

“Something wrong, George?”

“I kind of forgot about this part. ‘A senator, unlike a research scientist, doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for every last shred of evidence to come in.’ Did I really say that?”

“Yes, George. But like I said, your intentions were good.”

“Of course.”

“I have to go now. Some of us are getting a game of touch football going. Have you ever tried that with ghosts you can’t actually touch? It’s weird. Goodbye, George.”

“Ted? Ted? Ahhh, I knew it. Back in bed. Just another weird dream. I really should get some sleep…”

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

“Hiya, George!”

“WHAT THE—Jerry? Jerry Ford?”

“The Ghost of Government Present, at your service!”

“Jerry, why are you here?”

“Well, the previous Ghost of Government Present had to resign, so—”

“No, no. Why are you here, in my bedroom?”

“Oh, right. I need to show you something. Come on, follow me. Down there. Take a look. ”

“Who are these people, Jerry? Why are you showing them to me?”

“That’s the Cratchit family, George. They’re having dinner.”

“Yes, I can see that. But why is the mother crying?”

“Because some government officials are threatening to take away Tiny Tim and send him to a foster home.”

“Which one is Tiny Tim?”

“That one.”

“Wow. Look, Jerry, I feel sorry for parents and all, but maybe they shouldn’t have nicknamed that kid ‘Tiny.’ He’s a blimp.”

“That’s why the government is threatening to take him away, George.”

“They’re taking him away for being fat? What is this, the old Soviet Union?”

“There’s no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never be will be under a Ford Administration!”

“Uh, Jerry–”

“Sorry. But I still don’t see why that line got everyone so upset.”

“Jerry, why don’t the parents just encourage Tiny Tim to lose some weight?”

“They’ve tried, George. They’ve tried over and over. As soon as they realized he had a weight problem, they put him on a strict low-fat diet with plenty of grains. Cereals with skim milk. Sandwiches with lean meats. Pasta, potatoes, rice. Crackers and fruit juice for snacks. No eggs, no cream, no butter. Just like you recommended, remember?”

“Well, if that didn’t work, they should have tried just feeding him less. I mean, come on, Jerry—”

“They tried that too, George. They’ve gone from doctor to doctor, and they always get the same advice: put him on a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet. Poor Tiny Tim has spent half his life feeling hungry, but getting fatter anyway.”

“Bah, humbug. If they were truly following my advice—”

“They did follow your advice, George. But since Tiny Tim is still fat, the government health experts assume the parents are lying. That’s why they want to take Tiny Tim away.”

“But this can’t be! My intentions were good! Please, Jerry, tell me there’s still some way we can … Jerry? Jerry, where did you go?!”

“I’ve got to go, George. The previous Ghost of Government Present called and told me he needs a big favor of some kind.”

“Jerry, wait, I can’t see the family anymore! What happened to Tiny Tim? Jerry, come back! I promise I’ll do better if you just give me another chance!”

“There you go again.”

“Wha … Ronald Reagan?”

“Yes. Although I’m currently starring as the Ghost of Government Yet To Come.”

“This is a complete nightmare!”

“Well, now, that’s what they said about Bedtime for Bonzo, but I think over the years the critics have come to appreciate—“

“Ronnie, please, I need to know what happened to Tiny Tim. Take me back to the family.”

“Too late, George. You’re in the future now.”

“Then take me to the family now … I mean, here in the future.”

“You sure you want to see that, George?”

“Yes, Ronnie. I must.”

“Okay, come along with me. See? There’s the family, sitting down for dinner.”

“But Tiny Tim’s chair is empty! Did he … did he …”

“Die? No, George. He lost weight, his blood pressure went down, his glucose stabilized, his kidney function returned to normal, and he started concentrating better in school.”

“Then where is he?”

“The government took him away, George.”

“But why?”

“Well, take a good look at the family dinner table, George.”

“Steak, broccoli, butter, some kind of cream-based dessert … wait, where’s the bread, Ronnie? The pasta? The potatoes? They’re eating way too much fat.”

“That’s why the government took Tiny Tim away, George. The Cratchits stopped following your advice and Tiny Tim got better. But the government doesn’t like it when people stop following your advice, so they took Tiny Tim away.”

“But I never wanted any of this to happen, Ronnie! My intentions were—“

“—were good. Yes, I know, George. There you go again, assuming good intentions mean good results. Like I always said, sometimes government is the problem.”

“I refuse to believe this is my fault, Ronnie. It can’t be.”

“Then you need to ask yourself a question: People have been following your advice for 40 years. Are they happier now than they were 40 years ago? Are they leaner than they were 40 years ago? Are they healthier than they were 40 years ago? Are kids concentrating better than they were 40 years ago?”

“Well, no, but—”

“Then George, maybe it’s time you just admit your advice was wrong. I’ve got to go now. I’m expecting Nancy to join me any minute.”

“Ronnie, wait! Don’t go! Ronnie, please, I want to go back! I want to go back!”

BUZZ-BUZZ-BUZZ-BUZZ-BUZZ-BUZZ-BUZZ!!

“Wha? My own bed … 7:00 a.m. alarm … so it was all just a dream! There’s still time.“

CREEAAAAK.

“Excuse me, young man! Up here!”

“Yes, sir?”

“Do you know a family with a boy named Tiny Tim?”

“Yes, sir. They live just down the road.”

“Here, I’m tossing you down a hundred-dollar bill. I want you to go out and buy the biggest, fattest turkey you can find and take it to Tiny Tim’s house.”

“Will do, sir.”

“And some ham. And some bacon. And some eggs and butter. And a nice selection of green vegetables. Can you do that?”

“Of course, sir. Right away, sir. Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas to you, young man. And may God bless us, every one!”

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5 Responses to “How Tiny Tim Got McScrooged”
  1. Phil says:

    Tom, if you need to keep files organized across multiple computers, I recommend using a backup/sync program like Dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com) or SugarSync (http://www.sugarsync.com).

    Dropbox is simpler to use, while SugarSync is more flexible (and gives you more free space). With either program, you can easily keep your files in the same folders on each computer, and they will be backed up online for access anywhere. FYI, both links above are referrals that will give you an extra 500 MB of storage for signing up.

    I’ve looked into those, but they’re not practical for the size of the files I back up. My Fat Head files alone occupy nearly a terabyte.

  2. Eric says:

    Just out of curiosity, what technologies do you use in your software development? .NET? Java? One of the web technologies such as ASP.NET or PHP?

    .NET, SQL Server, ASP.NET, Javascript, JQuery, plus some DB2 and Oracle queries at the BMI gig. They’re going big on the Java platform in the future, so I’m learning some of that too.

  3. Phil says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize how big those video files are. Any of the hosted services are going to be really expensive – I think about the cheapest way to get 1TB is $500/year on Google Drive. If you want to keep things synced on your own computers & external drives, I can recommend SyncBack. It’s not continuous like Dropbox, but you can set it up to sync automatically at whatever interval you like. The paid versions have incremental and differential backups, so it doesn’t take too long.

    You can also set up your own personal Dropbox-like system with ownCloud.org, although it is a fair amount of hassle. AeroFS looks like a simpler solution, although I’m leery of anything that’s been in private beta for more than 2 years.

  4. LisaW says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tom! I truly appreciate this past year’s worth of the Fat Head blog.

    May 2013 be your best year yet…

    And yours as well.

  5. Lars says:

    Count me in for the update Fathead!

    Thank you, will do.

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