Monthly Archives: July 2014

9 Days to Leadville!

Donate Life powered by Jim!

Donate Life, powered by Jim!

In nine days our amazing pal Jim will be taking on the fitness challenge of his life:

The 2014 Leadville 100 MTB!

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Weight Gain

My weight going into surgery on April 14th was 165 lbs. I’m now within a pound of that starting weight!



In high school, I played soccer, lacrosse, hockey and was co-president of the math club; I weighed about 173. Freshman year in college I kept in shape playing rugby (and working on advanced quadratic equations*) until I broke my cheekbone and stopped playing. I remember at some point in college stepping on a scale and seeing 199. I’m pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever weighed.

One of the symptoms of PSC and ulcerative colitis is weight loss because of the body’s inability to absorb nutrients. As my disease progressed, I fluctuated between 140lbs and 170lbs, never really getting back to my high school weight of 173. I’m very excited to have made so much progress returning to a healthy weight. The nurses and surgeons have warned us that many transplant recipients become a little too portly after a year and need to be reminded about portion control. I don’t think I’ll have that problem.

Some statistics:

  • Over the 37 days in the hospital, I went from 165lbs to 142 lbs for an average weight loss of 0.62lbs per day.
  • The first night I was home, my weight dropped overnight to 138 which was mainly due to fluid loss.
  • In the days since leaving the hospital, I have gained an average of 0.39 lbs per day.
  • I weigh myself daily and the linear trendline match, e.g. the R2 (coefficient of determination) value, is 0.954.
*Logan hacked this web post.

Root Beer Review #9 – Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer

I’ve been getting a few requests from people wanting root beers to be tasted. I want to remind everyone that I have 40 root beers still in my possession from the initial purchase waiting for me in my basement. At one per week, that’s almost a year’s worth of root beer! If it isn’t in the current stock, it will take a while before I can get to tasting any new suggestions. But, rest assured, I’m taking notes for future purchases.
RootBeer_BasementThis week, I chose a root beer from the basement boxes that’s been on the market for a long time:  Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer. They celebrated their 75th anniversary recently and according to their website, in 1986, Dad’s Root Beer had the second largest share of the root beer category behind A&W. How’s that for market share? You could just call this the Pepsi of the Root Beers.

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Weekend Recap: July 25-27

View from the summit of Mt. Sunapee

View from the summit of Mt. Sunapee

A couple of liver related items before we get to the photo show from the weekend.

Derek had labs done last week on Monday and Wednesday because of a little miscommunication. On Wednesday, you may recall, his bilirubin was 4.2 and they told us to chill out about it, plus upped his ursodiol to see if that would get the ‘sludge’ in his bile ducts to make their way out. On Friday he got the results from the lab that drew blood in Manchester on Monday and his bilirubin was 2.5. The lesson here is that Bill & Rubin are indeed constantly in flux, and maybe we really should just chill out about it.

Also on Friday, I got a call from my nurse who had the results of my liver volume scan from my MRI last Wednesday. Prior to having 60% of my liver lopped off, my liver volume was: 1132. After about 3 months of growth, my liver is now: 981.99! That means that my little liver is back up to 86.7% of its optimal size. Pretty good! That’s at the high end of the scale according to the doctor. Here’s the super crazy thing about livers: they know when to stop growing. For example, if they do a live donor transplant in a kid and they end up giving him/her a bit too much liver to start out with, say somewhere in the neighborhood of 120% of their original volume, the 20% that isn’t needed will shrink down and THEN, grow as the kid grows. We had this conversation because Derek asked if anyone’s liver has ever grown back to more than 100% and the answer is no. It is pre-programmed or hard-wired to be what it needs to be. The doctor said if we could figure out how it works we’d win the Nobel prize.

The liver continues to delight and amaze me.

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Week of July 21st – Best of Liver Lovers Unite



Today, July 21, is Ernest Hemingway’s birthday. To celebrate, here are a three things you may not have known about him:

  1. He (supposedly) invented the cocktail Death in the Afternoon. In a collection of celebrity recipes he instructed readers to “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.” (He also shared the recipe for his favorite hamburger.)
  2. He rewrote the ending the A Farewell To Arms 39 times before he was satisfied.
  3. He named his fishing boat Pilar.

HBD, Ernie!

Image via the National Archives

Happy weekend to you all! Here’s some fun stuff from the internet. See you next week.

1. These butterflies drink the salty tears of turtles. Yes, this is apparently true.

2. Mr. Rogers shows us how crayons are made.

3. 25 Wacky Facts? Some of these facts are suspect. 

4. Via fakescience:


5. New Benedict Cumberbatch movie about Alan Turing has me all giddy with anticipation.


We think the timer Derek made is possessed by the ghost of Alan Turing. And by we, I mean I think it’s possessed by Turing. Derek doesn’t see what all the fuss is about.