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June 22, 2010

Product Review

Hi everyone.  First thing I want to do is get this out of the way.  Then I'll get back to the subjects you probably tuned in for.

Normally I only do reviews on products or services that have to do with health and weight loss.  This time I'm going to step out of that role and review something else.  I'm providing this review as a service to my readers that live close to me.  Those of you that are outside the Charlotte area should skip to the stuff where I talk about running.

Advance Painting and Roofing

Let me tell you about my experience with this company.  Normally, I don't respond to cold calls.  Actually, I don't respond WELL to cold calls.  Truth of the matter was I really needed my gutters cleaned out and with the summer heat on us, I'm not doing it myself.  So when they called offering to do gutter work, I asked them for a quote. 

Now this part is my fault.  I should have stuck to my modus operandi of getting at least 2 or 3 quotes, but some heavy rains were coming soon and I wanted to make sure the work was done before then.  Later, when I talked to another company, it was plain to see that I'd been over charged for the work.

First, I want to say that the gutters were well cleaned.  They actually did a good job with that.  Its what came along with it that I have a problem with.

1. I was promised that they would leave an invoice when the work was complete.  They did not. 

2. Later I was promised that an invoice would be mailed.  I still haven't seen it.  Finally, they did email it to me.

3. I was promised that they would clean up after themselves.  This was done poorly.  Parts of my back deck were left dirty from them dropping debris onto it.

4. They did not let me know they were starting the work.  If they had, I would have moved my cars.  By the time I noticed that they were on the roof, it was too late and both my vehicles were covered in gunk.

5.  And the worst part of the experience was something I just happened to see.  My house is a split level and has a window between the highest part of the roof and the section below it.  I just happened to be walking by and looking out that window when I saw someone JUMP from the top section to the lower one.  And I'm not talking about putting your hand down on one section to lower yourself down.  This leap was something Spiderman would have been proud of.  This guy caught some serious air doing it.

Later, when I brought this up with the company, I got the usual "oh we don't condone such behavior" story out of them.  But I didn't so much get the impression that they would really do anything about it.  In fact from their tone I don't think they really believed me.  I think I would have gotten more out of it if I were talking to my running shoes.

In conclusion, I do NOT recommend Advance Painting and Roofing.  In my personal opinion, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest, I'd give them a 2.  They DID clean the gutters after all.  But I don't feel that I can trust them to work without me watching out for damage to my property.  They violated that trust and I will NEVER use their service again.

NOTE:  I'm really toning down how angry I am.


Okay.enough of that.


People sometimes ask me, "why running?"

Let me tell how I got started running and why I now enjoy it so much.

It started the last time when I dropped all that weight.  One of the things I used to do was talk walks close to the end of the day to keep my caloric burn at a fast rate.  I already had my Body Bugg.  So I could see how much the walks were helping.  Slowly, over time, I noticed that as lost more and more weight, I wasn't getting as much out of the walks as I used to.  It was still helping me, but not nearly as much as it used to. 

Part of that was that I'd lost so much weight that walking was just plain easier.  If you walk around as a 250 pound man you have to work harder than if you were a 220 pound man.  Carry around an extra 30 pounds for a while.  It gets hard, faster than you'd think.

Anyway, I was out walking one day, and I thought, "Hey, what if I just run to the corner, then do the rest of my walk normally?"  I was thinking that the run would help jump up my burn rate and then walking on top of that would help to keep it up.  So I tried it.  And I was amazed at how many calories were burned by running.  I've run on a treadmill.lot of times..but this was different.  Running outside is hard.really hard. 

So putting a bit of running into my walks became part of my normal routine.  And every now and then I'd increase how much I was running while decreasing my walking time.  Eventually, I was running more than walking.  And I felt fantastic. 

One of my coworkers asked me when I was going to run my first 5k.  I hadn't even considered it until then.  The idea of running in a race just sounded insane.  I'm a big fat guy.the Token Fat Guy..what business did I have showing up for something like that?  I have to admit that I was curious about it though.  I found out that it wasn't the elite group that I'd envisioned and I would almost certainly NOT be the biggest person there.

The race was great.  I had a blast and got some great pictures of me crossing the finish line.

But what is it that keeps me running?  It is a combination of things.  Here's a list.I like lists.

1. Running is cheap.  Once you buy your shoes, clothes, water belt.you are pretty much done.  You don't have to pay a subscription to run.  Unless you sign up for Runner's World.  No memberships are required.

2. No age limit.'nuf said

3. You can run just about anywhere.at any time.  I have my favorite spot to run at, but I don't always go there.  The only time I really can't run is when it gets too hot.  That's why I try to run in the mornings.

4. The view is great.  I run on in a natural area.  It is very peaceful.

5. Bragging rights!  "Yeah.I ran 6 miles last Saturday."  It sounds awesome.non runners think you are crazy. 

6. You can be as serious about it as you like.  Some people are out there using heart rate monitors and have special plans worked up to maximize the benefits of every mile they run.  Others just put on their shoes and lose themselves in the run.

7.  Did I mention you burn a ton of calories?

8.  Despite what people think, fat people CAN run.  We just typically aren't very fast at it.  And the best thing is we can only get better at it.

9.  It doesn't take much to be a 'runner'.  If you can run for 2 steps (1 for each foot), then you are a runner.  I don't care if you walk for the rest of it.if you run two steps, then it was a run.and you are a runner.

10.  Wakey Wakey!  Have trouble waking up in the morning?  Put on some shoes and run 3 miles.  You will be ready to attack anything the day throws at you.

Lastly, I think running helps me deal with stress.  Such as the stress caused by the folks at Advance Painting and Roofing using my roof as a trampoline.

That's all for now..go run your cares away!


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