Saturday, February 13, 2010

2777 Confused about food

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The price is what you pay, the value is what you receive.
-- Salada Tea tag line --


In this recent post,, I linked to an article about research on the health dangers of cellular phones and towers. Now, there's this:


I am horrified! Radar? Constantly bathing your body at close range?

Even when you aren't using your cell phone, if it's on it's periodically sending and receiving positional signals (using microwaves, which is essentially radar), but I suspect this is a much stronger signal. And it will not be broadcasting periodically. It will be constant. And anything that can go through a purse or pocket is going through to your hip bones.

I wonder if that guy would be willing to strap it to his infant daughter's forehead.


After Thursday's visit to the nutritionist, I spent all of yesterday doing research. It's all very confusing. I'm supposed to have
  • 6 servings of complex carbs
  • 4-6 servings of protein
  • 2-3 servings of fruit
  • 2 servings of dairy
  • 3 servings of vegetables
  • 3 servings of fats
scattered over three meals and three snacks every day. But the nutritionist and the Mayo Clinic, among others, seem to differ on which classification various foods fall into. The nutritionist considered nuts to be protein, but Mayo put them in the fats group. The nutritionist wants me to have a protein with every meal and snack, but if I am to have 5 servings of protein a day, and one "serving" of beef, pork, chicken is 1 ounce (that's ONE!), I don't see how.

I discovered that you can't decide you're hungry, walk out to the kitchen and open the refrigerator or cabinet, and think, "What shall I eat?" When you have to parcel out what classes can be eaten in what combination, you have to plan the whole day's meals and snacks ahead of time. The diabetic diet isn't about simply avoiding sugars. It's about combinations and balance.

I looked in the pantry and refrigerator, and there's a lot of stuff I can't have any more. I should just get rid of it. I asked Daughter, and she doesn't want any of it. She said to give it to a soup kitchen or something, but they won't accept it because it's all been opened and decanted. Ever since an attack of nasty flour moths and some kind of tiny black beetle that could drill through soft plastic and cardboard, I've kept everything in glass jars and big plastic jugs. So there's flour, sugar, brown sugar, pancake mix, Basmati rice, dirty rice, five different kinds of pasta, dessert mixes, Bisquick, creamy soup mixes, on and on, almost all out of their original containers. I doubt anyone else would (or frankly, should) trust them.

I guess the raccoons and turkeys will be having a feast.


Later - the chocolate will stay. A long time ago I mostly stopped eating regular candy chocolate and switched to unsweetened or semi-sweet baking chocolate to satisfy my occasional but powerful chocolate cravings, with the occasional Lindt truffle. It won't be cheating, really. The nutritionist said I could have one dessert a week.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2776 No more baked potato?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dean Koontz, in The Face, paraphrased: When no one ever listens to you,
really listens, you can begin to lose the ability to tell whether or not you
are really making sense when you talk.


I had a one-hour session with a nutritionist today. If I am not diabetic now, I am headed straight for it, so I figured it would be a good idea.

She says I am remarkably healthy for my age, that I've got the right ideas, based on what and how I've been eating and the supplements I take (she got all excited when I mentioned I take lecithin, and strongly approved of my fish oil capsules), but there are a few things we have to tweak.

She says I eat !way! too much fruit. I have to cut back to no more than three servings a day, and cut out fruit juice entirely.

"Cut out fruit juice? Howcome fruit is ok but fruit juice isn't? I buy the stuff without added sweetner...." "Because how many oranges does it take to make one glass of orange juice? How many grapes in one glass of grape juice?" "Oh. Ok."

I have to eat six times a day, and I should have protein at every meal and snack to balance the carbs. Protein isn't just meat. Cottage cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, low-fat cheese, tree nuts, etc. count as protein.

The part that hurt was "nothing white". Ok, doing without white bread and corn isn't all that bad, but she says that sticky white Japanese rice I dearly love, and my beloved white potatoes, are definitely out. I can have brown rice (yuck) and I can have those little red potatoes with the thin skins (oh, ok, I like them) and purple potatoes (available at Adams' Fairacre Farms). She says once I try the purples, I won't mind giving up the whites. I'm not big on pasta, so I don't mind being limited on that, and whole wheat pasta in moderation is ok.

She said to avoid wrap sandwiches. One wrapper is the equivalent of umpteen slices of white bread.

I can have my sweet liquors at about the same rate I drink now (about three a month), and for one dinner a week I can have anything I want (in reasonable portions). I can also have my favorite dessert once a week.

She wants me to keep a food diary, and I have to show it to her in a month.


Most of my freezer will have to be tossed. Seems like everything has white rice or potatoes in it. Maybe I'll take it all down to Daughter.

2775 Magnesium

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In The Face, by Dean Koontz, the hero wants to arrest a motivational speaker
on "charges of felony cliché and practicing philosophy without an idea."

Oooo, I love that!

The Plow Guy did somehow manage to go up the bank to the left of the mailbox. I'll find out what damage he did to the lawn when the snow melts, I guess.


For many decades I've had either fibromyalgia or something similar. I have pain somewhere constantly. Not just little twinges. It's strong enough that I worry that I might someday have something serious going on and not know it.

Actually, that did happen once, when my gall bladder attacked me, and that's supposed to be bad pain, but I didn't worry about it until I started throwing up coffee grounds (that's partially digested blood for those who don't know). I drove myself to the ER in the middle of the night, and had emergency surgery two hours later.

On the plus side, I've delivered two babies completely without meds, and, "What pain? This is not pain. Hard work, yes. Pain, no."

Anyway, about four or five years ago I added magnesium to my daily supplements. I don't remember why I started taking it, but today it occurred to me that I've had very little random pain over the past several years. Sometimes I don't refill the weekly pill container, and I go without any supplements for a week or two until I get my tail in gear again, and --- surprise --- if I skip too long, the pain starts up again.

Hmmmm. If anyone out there has fibro or random pain, try magnesium and let me know what happens.

2774 Driveway shock

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mart Gross, biologist, on what behaviors get noted
or discounted : "Theory determines what you see."

That's so true. We tend to see what we expect to see,
and discount or explain away anything unexpected.

All the weather sites and TV news I checked on Tuesday said we'd get 6 to 12 inches of snow yesterday (of course they didn't agree), so Tuesday afternoon I called Plow Guy and left a message that I'd need his services if we got 4 inches or more. At return from dinner Tuesday night, I left the car at the foot of the driveway so I could get out easily if we had a lot of snow. I figured I'd call Plow Guy and tell him to warn me before he arrived so I could move the car out of the driveway so he could get in.

The storm did shift southeast. The blizzard never arrived. When I went to bed last night, there were only 3 inches out there, so I didn't call Plow Guy.

Shock. I looked out the door this morning, and the driveway has been plowed.


At the foot, my driveway is one car wide. There's a steep uphill bank on the south side. On the north side, there's the mailbox on a small flat area, and then another downhill bank. This photo is from the ice storm last year, when I lost a bunch of trees. You can see the bank on the right and the mailbox on the left. Since the driveway is heading up, between the mailbox and the drive you can see a slope, and to the left of the mailbox the lawn rapidly gets steep enough to quickly get unmowable. My car is parked right there where the trees had fallen.
Now, how did Plow Guy, with his huge truck, get onto the driveway to plow it? Is my car still parked down there? (It was locked, so he didn't push it out of the way.) Is the mailbox still there? Did he chew up my lawn climbing the bank in the middle of the night?

And since we got only 3 inches total, why did he plow anyway? It's not insignificant. It's $55 per plowing.

I can't see the car from the house. It's below the brow of the hill.
I'll be going out after noon. Update and possible photos then.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2773 Texting Haiti

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
-- Isaac Asimov --


Remember when "they" announced that you could text "Haiti" to a particular phone number, and donate $10 to Haiti relief? Well, wait for it. When the month's cell phone bills hit, you'll hear screams all over the country. Spanking will be reinstituted.

A lot of kids were unaware that the $10 would be added to the phone bill. They seemed to think that the money would come from some anonymous corporate benefactor, so they texted the code hundreds of times, proud of their texting skills.

Steel yourselves, parents.


I had dinner last night with the Orange County Outdoor Singles Meetup group, at a new sushi restaurant on the Newburgh riverfront. I guess I shouldn't feel so bad about the no-shows with my groups - 12 people had RSVP'd yes, and only 7 showed up, and this is one of the more popular groups.

We were the only customers, the service and food was terrific (lots of extras), and we were there three hours, having fun.

The topic of tying knots with your tongue in cherry stems came up, and three of us claimed to be able to do it, so we asked the waiter for three stemmed maraschino cherries. The waiter brought a huge bowl full! We all had a chance to try at least three.

I left a little after ten, and the snow, which was supposed to begin after midnight, had already started, light flurries. When I woke this morning, I expected to find several inches, but it looks like about 2, and it's still just flurries. I guess the blizzard will be later today. I hope it'll swing south and east and miss us.

Well, I can hope....

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

2772 Cell Conspiracy

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Consumotherapy - buying something because it makes you feel good.


Please pass this link on: It's a long but well-written article on the various studies on the risks of cell phone/WiFi radiation, and why in the US even talking about the topic will get you labeled as a conspiracy nut.
"...most worrisome, though, are the preliminary results of the multinational Interphone study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France. (Scientists from thirteen countries took part in the study, the United States conspicuously not among them.) Interphone researchers reported in 2008 that after a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor—specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone—goes up as much as 40 percent for adults. Interphone researchers in Israel have found that cell phones can cause tumors of the parotid gland (the salivary gland in the cheek), and an independent study in Sweden last year concluded that people who started using a cell phone before the age of 20 were five times as likely to develop a brain tumor. Another Interphone study reported a nearly 300 percent increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the acoustic nerve. "
The article makes the case that research has been stymied, shut down, and suppressed in the US because it is not in the interests of the telecommunications industry, the military, or the government. Consider who funds such research. Or, more appropriately here, who doesn't.

Did you know that it is actually illegal to attempt to stop installation of a microwave tower on the grounds of health concern?

Read it. The stories of the researcher's experiences are fascinating and illuminating. And if you can't get cell phone service where you sleep, rejoice.

2771 There's no title that fits barrettes, choking, and consumerism.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The north pole is in Lapland.


You know you've screwed up when the second thing people say to you in greeting is "What happened to your hair?"

I've had a breakage problem. The top layer of my hair doesn't seem to grow past the bottom of the back of my head. I'd thought it was from overuse of heat straightening back in early 2007, but that should have grown out long ago.

I finally figured out it's because of those stupid "French clip" barrettes - the ones with the bar that goes up between two metal strips to hold the hair tight. I hated them when they first appeared on the store shelves a few decades ago because I knew they'd break hair, but they're about all you can buy now. I have many beautiful ones, and now I'm going to get rid of them all. I'll use scrunchies and simple bar barrettes from now on.

Two weeks ago I cut my hair to just above my shoulders, so it will all grow out together.

Males, in particular, don't like it short. They prefer it long, even if it is ragged.


"The Doctors" today were demonstrating infant CPR. When Daughter was small, we weren't taught CPR for little ones. I was reminded of one day when I was going through the mail. Daughter was sitting on the floor next to me, and I was dropping the envelopes on the floor for her to play with.

Suddenly she began choking. One of the envelopes had a cellophane window, and she'd somehow managed to pull it loose and inhale it.

I couldn't see or reach it, it was pretty far down, so without thinking I turned her upside down, held her against my body by her legs, and pressed on her middle with the other hand, and ran for the front door. The next door neighbor was a retired pediatric nurse, so I ran to her door, holding Daughter upside down, punching her in the chest constantly, planning to ask the neighbor to call 911.

I rang the doorbell and kicked the door and shouted, squeezing Daughter upside down the whole time. Daughter managed to cough up the cellophane far enough that I could get to it, so I lifted her high by one ankle and reached into her mouth to scoop it out before she could inhale it again. Just as the woman opened the door, I got the cellophane out and Daughter started wailing.

The neighbor opened the door to me dangling a kicking squirming screaming child upside down by one ankle, in front of my face. The expression on Mrs. Tribble's face was priceless.


I've been watching "The Age of Stupid" online. (I'm about 2/3 through it, and just now discovered it has been removed for copyright violations - which I don't understand because the distributors will give you a free copy if you agree to show it to multiple people.) It's a British production about global warming, supposed to get the message across better than "An Inconvenient Truth". (The producers seem to have an intense dislike of Shell Oil in particular.) All the pre-2055 clips shown are actually real archival footage from various sources, not shot just for this movie.

Anyway, one statement impressed me. Through the history of the world, there have been various religions, political systems, economic systems, philosophies that have come, gone, spread, affected life in good or bad ways. But none has been so pervasive, spread so widely, and is so potentially dangerous as consumerism, the idea that we must have more, bigger, newer, better to be happy.

I agree. Consumerism is, in the end, a very bad deal for everyone.

Let's stop listening to advertising agencies. We inherently know what we want and need. We don't need them to tell us.


Along the same thought lines but from a different source is "proliferation". We usually hear the word in connection with "nuclear", but proliferation in general is very dangerous to the Earth, particularly proliferation of people. And consumerism.

Monday, February 08, 2010

2770 SB Commercials

Monday, February 8, 2010

Most people can work with any insanity,
as long as it is consistent and predictable insanity.
-- Me --


You can watch all the Super Bowl commercials at Click on the button on the upper right to watch them one after another with no pause.

I guess some must have repeated, because there are duplicates, but you can skip to the end of duplicates by moving the bar at the bottom of the viewing screen.

I'm a bit disappointed. Nothing came up to the standard of the old Budweiser frogs. Or the young Clydesdale-in-training.


I saw "Small Change" with the movie group last night. It was, as advertised, charming.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

2769 Mumps, Auction, Wealth

Sunday, February 7, 2010

If two people always agree on everything, then one of them is superfluous.


Remember when I wondered if I might have mumps, back in mid-January? (Post 2748, at

There's a mumps outbreak in Orange County, centered around Kiryas Joel, an Orthodox Jewish community. That's the general area where I go to a Mensa dinner the first week of every month. The timing's right. Damn. I bet it was mumps.

The article says that most of the kids who've come down with mumps were immunized, but that's not explained. Interesting. I'll bet a lot of adults who had mild cases weren't even counted. I know I didn't go to a doctor.



My singles' meetup group went to the auction last night. I had gone in Friday afternoon and reserved 8 seats for myself and the 7 people who'd RSVP'd. Three people showed up. Well, four if you count the guy who came without having RSVP'd (he did that at the dinner last month, too, showed up without advance notice).

I think the folks who did come enjoyed it, but I'm getting really annoyed at no-shows. It's not a rule, but I've noticed that many Meetup organizers kick people out after three no-shows. There's one woman who consistently says Yes to everything, and never shows up or cancels. She's supposed to come to the movie this evening, and if she doesn't, so help me, she's out. And no, it's not social anxiety - another member told me she's been to another group's games nights.


Watching "Sunday Morning". Somebody just described the US as "the wealthiest and most generous country in the world". Sorry. Maybe most arrogant, but not most wealthy. There are several countries, especially in the middle east, that are absolutely more wealthy on a per-person basis. Several share the wealth with the citizens, so that no one has to work if they don't feel like it. They just hire foreign workers to do whatever needs doing.

Contrast that with here, where many families are struggling to feed and house themselves, where basic health care is not affordable for many, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and the rich aren't interested in helping the poor. They use and prey on them. Cattle. Where's that famous generosity? It's not at home....