Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: A spreadsheet for life |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: A spreadsheet for life

Sometimes, relatively older people do relatively strange things.Being one of the above, I had a brilliant idea this exact same week last year and thought it would be interesting (cool, funny, stupid, odd … your choice) to keep track of what I ate over the course of an entire year.Breakfast, lunch and dinner would be it. A simple spreadsheet with a column for each.But then I felt obligated to add desserts and snacks because it wouldn’t be relevant (to whom, I failed to consider) if I did not include everything that passed my lips, which led of course to booze, so I had to track whether or not I imbibed, as well.This led, obviously, to how much I consumed, so I had to add columns for one to two, three to four, five or more drinks and so on.Same for coffee.And the gym. How could I forget the gym? My workouts, skiing, hiking, golf (yes, it’s a sport, all that swinging and such). And how could I track myself without tracking the rest of the family?And, of course, I had to have a column saying what I spent the day actually doing, such as accounting, bookwork, driving carpool, doing laundry, dusting, going to movies, etc.Oh, and I had to add where I laid my head each night, as we tend to travel quite a bit with soccer games and ski races.Next thing I knew, my Ron Paul spreadsheet had become a Gingrich, and I became (somewhat) obsessive-compulsive about it and spent every @#$%^&*! day of 2011 recording all of the above.Fascinating, no? (Said in a French accent.)Anyway, the results are telling, but what they are telling is up to debate (as if anyone really cares). Out of 365 days, I had coffee 361. Perhaps that explains something right off the bat.For breakfast, cereal was the clear winner, with 112 milk-filled bowls, and Instant Breakfast taking second at 64 glasses of the chocolate stuff.I love chocolate, obviously.Lunch was a bit more spread out, with SlimFast (drinks or bars) taking the top spot at 85 (stop laughing, I’m 52 and will eat what I want). Sandwiches of turkey, ham or peanut butter figured prominently in the mix, with a smattering of hamburgers and smoked salmon filling in the gaps.I love smoked salmon, too.Dinner had twice the variety of lunch, with hamburgers, pizza and spaghetti taking top place, yet had a whopping 64 other food types ranging from brats to fondue to Mexican dishes.Over 2011, I devoured 193 bananas, enjoyed cookies at least 133 times, downed at least one adult beverage 186 times (more than four only twice, though) and laid my head on some other pillow 38 nights.Gym workouts absorbed 160 mornings, with 78 days of skiing, golfing or hiking and 117 days of being an activity-free bum (at least physically).I hope my parents are proud.So what does it all mean?Simple. Two days ago, on Jan. 1, 2012, I stopped tracking all this crap, as I’m too old to keep a stupid diary.But it was kind of cool to write about.Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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