Dear Lard which art in my belly, Harden be my arteries.
Thy heart attack come,
Thy fat be in views, as it is in muscle.
Give me this day my daily quarter pounder.
And forgive me this meal, as we forgive others.
The Golden Arches of temptation,
Deliver us early: into thine grave,
and the salt, oh the salt, high blood pressure.
"So, how’d you end up in Hell?"
I’ve earned my knee socks. That’s right, I’ve been Scoutborged. With Noah working up the ranks in Boy Scouts and Evan having begun scouts as a Tiger scout, I find myself a leader in both Cubscouts and Boy Scouts and Cathy has earned her Scout Widow badge. In June, I will be going on an adventure with Noah to hike in the Canyons of Utah for 9 days (with no cell phone or Internet!) This past weekend, Amy, Evan and I toured and slept overnight in The Lost Sea Caverns. The Weekend before that, Evan and I hiked for miles around Camp Buck Toms, slept over night, and came home with ticks. The weekend prior to that I slipped while doing yard work and torqued my knee. And today, three weeks later, my knee is still tender, hurts to touch, and I cannot put much weight on it.
So, I just paid $25 to have my doctor tell me I’m out of shape. End of story. So to celebrate, I decided to go to Cookout and have a cheese burger with onions, french fries, and hush puppies..MMMMMMmmm. While waiting for my food, I look around the joint and every morose soul there is 2 to 3 times my overweight size. They don’t speak or smile. Slow Jesus rock emanates loudly from the store speakers. For a moment, I consider leaving the five dollars and change worth of heart disease on the counter to escape quickly. In weakness, I grab the food and Cheer Wine float, return to work, and joined a gym.
Not terribly. Broccoli and tomatoes didn’t go over great. My children enjoyed the tray while the neighborhood kids raided their Halloween candy.
Future trays to include melons (thanks R. Neal see his comment), apples and cheeses.
This is my latest attempt to encourage the children to snack well. Everyday they arrive home from school, the neighborhood kids come over, and the whole gang immediately starts raiding the pantries and fridge scouring like starving mice for sweets. My hopes are that having this tray readily available on the kitchen table will make nibbling easier and discouraging staring into the cabinets. It has already been met with skepticism.
Since I’ve become hyperaware of my blood pressure and have the strong desire to live, I’ve begun eating healthier. I once thought I’d go by John Derek’s words of "live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" (n.b. written by Willard Motely in 1947 for the book "Knock on Any Door", turned into a screen play in 1949 and spoken by John Derek playing the character of Romano, and often incorrectly attributed to James Dean.) However, since I lived past 35 and have a wonderful family, I’m quite motivated to extend my years as long as possible so I’ve begun eating more organic foods, reduced my red meat intake dramatically, and have begun leaning toward more vegetarian meals. I also am taking smaller portions and I stop eating when I’m full rather than when the plate is empty. The result is that of the 5 notches on my belt (roughly an inch apart), I’ve moved from the 3rd to the 4th. Last week I was actually on the 5th. This week the 4th is a little too loose and the 5th is too tight. Now what would happen if I actually started exercising?
(no…not that kind of chubby)
I saw a friend last night and exclaimed, “wow! You’ve lost, what, about 30 pounds?” He confirmed, “about that” which confirmed for me that my doctor is correct; I need to lose 30 pounds (about 2 stone). My friend’s secret? Eat less, exercise more.
Last night we trade some food with hydrogenated oils for organic food at Earth Fare. N.B. there’s a coupon on their website somewhere that lets you bring any 1 food item from each of 5 categories even if it is almost empty and trade it for healthy food. While there I bought some almonds because I thought they’d be a healthy fidget food for programming. You know, takes time to crack open, gives you energy, improves memory, occupies your hands while you think through a solution to a problem, etc. So this morning I sit down to program and cannot crack open the nuts. What kind of household doesn’t have a nutcracker at Christmas time?!
I’m trying desperately to get some major code knocked out today. But the day has begun with me listening to hold music which cuts my coding rate in half. I hate having to sit on the phone.
Late this afternoon, in a panic, I will pack for a weekend of camping with Noah and Sarah. This weekend is our Scout troop’s Thanksgiving camping trip. Families are invited and we will cook a turkey and ham in a cardboard box oven. The scouts will build catapults and play games including shooting water balloons at the adult leaders. I have skipped the past 4 months of events. Since my daughter is attending and I think I have taken a bit of ownership on the catapults, I have to be on this trip. Besides, I really miss the camping plus getting into nature dramatically improves improves cognitive function in the brain.
Update: Important phone calls complete. Important email sent. Distracting Internet outage resolved. Cat about to be flung across room. Bug in my code fixed. Moving onto feature requests.
When the bedtime stories talk about bare cupboards, they mean ours. For the past 2 weeks, I have been saying, "We need to go to Sam’s. We need to go to the grocery." Time has not permitted. Somehow we have managed. Through creative cooking, every last crumb has turned into a child’s lunch for school, an afternoon snack, or a meal. When the stocks are running to nothing, resourcefulness and creativity kick in. This morning I looked in one cabinet and it was literally devoid of all but a single item! I could feel its vacuum trying to suck me in as if the Haldron Large Collider actually made its black hole in my kitchen cabinetry. The food shelves and fridge had barely enough to make Amy’s school lunch. I could have made pancakes or eggs and toast and avoided a trip to the store but this was looking bad. So for the sake of a happy family, I quested for food at Kroger before anyone woke.
I dodge boxes and employees while walking down the isles of Kroger for it was restocking time. The store is a bustle of activity and I feel like I’ve accidentally become privy to Disney’s afterhours magic. As I pull boxes of junk into my cart, knowing fruit rollups would please the children, I lament feeding them processed junk and ponder what I could do to send them to school with healthy snacks that they would still enjoy. Feeding a family is tough. Feeding a large family is more difficult. Feeding a large family healthy food on a tight budget and frantic schedule is nearly impossible! None the less, I make strides to improve. For instance, we have instant mashed potatoes in a fix but I prefer to make mashed potatoes from scratch.
The kitchen is a little less barren now. The children are happier. I still look forward to getting to Sam’s for we survive on bulk!
Thanks to Les Jones making me aware of the new cut of beef called a flat iron steak, we are trying this supposedly tender piece of meat tonight. I had seen this cut in the store, but prior to his review, had given it a jaded eye considering its lower price. Tonight we shall see!
Update: They lived up to Les’ report. Tender and tasty!
(Ok. Not a fair title but I made you look! Alternate titles: "Hot class at BHS" "Tommy Burns the String at Both Ends" "Tommy Scrambles Over an Open Fire")
Tommy’s wildlife class has been learning how to build fires on campus..an activity that would get most kids expelled. Today his class will have a fire building contest where groups have to build a fire up and burn a string 2 feet high. Tommy has done this on camping trips and should do well. After they burn their strings they get to cook on the open fire. Tommy choose to scramble eggs on his fire.
This morning we prepared his orange by slicing off the top third. Then we used a grapefruit knife to separate most of the meat from the skin so that this did not burden him during class. We put the sliced top back on and held it in place with rubber bands to keep the juices in during school. The recipe calls for 2 eggs so I sent 4. I could not find a egg carrier so I sliced up the egg carton to be a protective case. Tommy did not want any seasoning. We packaged the eggs and the orange carefully in an insulated container with ice packs. In the pocket of the container we put a plastic fork, aluminum foil (wraps around the orange while it cooks in the coals), and printed instructions. While others eat hot dogs and marshmallows, Tommy will be living it up with scrambled eggs!
Update: Tommy did well!
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener consumed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. It is used in over 6,000 diet products including soft drinks, chewing gum, candy, desserts, yogurt as well as in pharmaceuticals, in particular, syrups and antibiotics for children. In 2005, the European Ramazzini Foundation published important experimental data demonstrating the carcinogenicity of aspartame. These data demonstrated for the first time that aspartame is a carcinogenic agent, inducing various types of malignant tumors in rats, even at dose levels currently considered acceptable for humans. [Source]
On an aside, perhaps rats are simply predisposed to get cancer.
Looks like the future of our meat supply could be from labs not farms.
A single cell could theoretically produce enough meat to feed the world’s population for a year. [Source]
This could be a boon to the fast food industry if it meant cheaper meat! But don’t worry. We are at least a decade away before the protests of "that’s not right" come.
The technology to grow a juicy steak, however, is still a decade or so away. No one has yet figured out how to grow blood vessels within tissue. [Source]
Dad: "Noah, what do you want for dinner?"
Noah: "Steak, taquitoes, or McDonald’s."
Dad: "Will you eat [fill in any fruit or vegetable here]?"
Dad: "Sarah, what do you want for dinner?"
Sarah: "I don’t know. Mac and cheese."
Dad: "Will you eat [fill in anything here]?"
Sarah, with disgust: "Well, nooo!"
Dad: "Tommy will you eat?"
Tommy: "As long as it isn’t spinach."
Amy: "I’ll start with this then change my mind to that but I’m largely influenced by Sarah even though I really like to eat like Tommy."
Evan: "Say it with me Dad.. Jugs! Oh, and pretty much anything Mom is trying to eat. Oh! Of course, I am 15 months and can clearly say candy."
Mom: "No onions! No peppers!"
Dad: "Self? Gourmet!"
In case you lost count, that’s roughly 3-5 different meals per sitting. We have dropped to least common denominator for so long that I have started to forget how to cook. The LCD? That would be chicken breast (plain), chicken nuggets (preferrably from McDs), spaghetti (but that leaves Noah with a peanut butter, maybe jelly, sandwich), steak, and hamburgers (but that leaves Sarah with ezmac).
I have decided to return to cooking. I am focusing on meals that create leftovers and hopefully satisfy a quorum but if the only people that eat are Cathy and I then so be it! The rule at this house is eat what everyone else is eatting or fix your own.
LiveJournal wants women to breastfeed their babies in the bathroom.
Six Apart, creators of Movable Type and, more recently, owners of LiveJournal, have decided to harrass LiveJournal users whose default icons depict breastfeeding.
LiveJournal is even protected by law!
Lawmakers are beginning to understand …; California, where Six Apart is located, has express legal provision exempting breastfeeding from obscenity legislation.
The AAP recommends "Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child."