As Sienna and I get older, it's more important than ever to watch what we eat, and make good diet decisions.
After about a month binge on Kroger wavy potato chips - I cut them out, cold turkey, about three weeks ago. Along with some other changes, I've seen a drop in my BP.
Most of my cooking is tinkering. I'll start with a basic recipe and improvise, or use some sort of starter, then add my own flourishes. For example, the ALDI sells a two pound bag of stir-fry veggies with noodles.
So, what do I do?
I use a couple of cups of the pre-made stuff, then add my own linguini noodles, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and 'shrooms, plus beef strips. Of the finished meal, only about 25% was from the original 'packaged' stuff.
But, I can't say that Sienna has taken the same interest in reading labels as I have.
"Daddy, I iz dog. I haz not got to look at that silly can. Just open it and feed me already!"
BTW, a follow-up on a recent post when I said I'd report my impression of the Winking Owl Shiraz from ALDI. Upon close inspection, the label showed a 'born on' date of 32 A.D. I think it may have been leftover from the vinegar offered Jesus by the Roman soldiers who mocked him as he was dying on the cross. (Luke 23:36)
I noticed a couple of weeks back that I too, was closing in on the 600 mark, and began thinking about a post to commemorate the occasion.
So, this evening I checked the dashboard, and noticed 618 posts. Now, I knew there were a few 'draft' posts that had, for various reasons, never seen the light of day, so I figured I'd subtract them to see if I had 600 actual published posts.
Turns out there are 62 drafts still in the can - and probably will remain there. Fully 10% of my blogposts are in the virtual dump, or at least 'recycle bin'.
I know what you're thinking: "You mean the other 90% that made it through - that's supposed to be the good stuff?"
OK, it was a toss-up between this and Three Dog Night's Shambala. But tonight, Chicago won.
(I'm thinking the setting here is the Caribou Ranch)
While the audio quality of this video is sub-par, I would love to have an audiophile room with a massager chair and some Bose 901 or Carver speakers, or even some Koss electrostatic or Sennheiser headphones, to listen to the original, possibly accompanied by a wee snifter of cognac.
A wheelchair-bound Irishman entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. He looked across the restaurant and asked, "Is that Jesus sitting over there?"
The waitress nodded "yes," so the Irishman told her to give Him a cup of coffee, on him.
The next diner to come in was an Englishman with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked for a cup of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, "Is that our Lord over there?"
The waitress affirmed that it was, so the Englishman said to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, "my treat."
The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Redneck on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, "Hey there sweet thang. How's about gettin' me a cold glass of Coke!" He too looked across the restaurant and asked, "Is that God's boy over there?"
The waitress once again nodded that it was, so the Redneck said to give the Lord a cold glass of Coke, "on my bill."
As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Irishman, touched him and said, "For your kindness, you are healed."
The Irishman felt the strength come back to his legs, got up and danced a jig right out the door.
Jesus also passed by the Englishman, touched him and said, "For your kindness, you are healed."
The Englishman felt his back straightening up, and he raised his hands heavenward, praised the Lord and did a series of back flips out the door.
Then Jesus walked up to the Redneck.
The Redneck jumped up and yelled, "Don't touch me - I'm drawin' disability!"
Excerpted from the email bag, from my friend Quanna.
Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented.
Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times.
They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
They had waved goodbye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.
When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French American, the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.
Just as daughter's music recital let out, the hailstorm began pelting the building, forcing most parents to keep their kids inside waiting for the storm to pass. A tornado south of here and one to the west - not sure if they touched down, but the wind was a bit eerie for a brief time. This car was parked by the curb, and I thought mine might have suffered the same fate in the parking lot - managed to scrape by with just a few dings.
Step right up - gently used, 1966 Ford 1-ton tow truck.
The Sinclair dinosaur on the sides was probably the newest thing about this truck, and somewhat apropos - looking inside, I surmised this truck was once owned by Fred or Barney - under the steering wheel it featured for-real Ford factory Flintstone floorboards...
(through which, while listening to your Jackson Browne 8-track of Running on Empty, you could literally '[look] out at the road rushing under [your] wheels...'
After over 50 years, Arlington's Candlelite Inn is up for auction and may be closing. I can remember dining there, oh, about 25 years ago. Unlike Red Lobster or Olive Garden or any of those chain establishment, this was a genuine, home-grown restaurant.
It's a tough world for anyone who's not part of the homogenized, national retail establishment, our-mall-stores-in-the-Metroplex-are-the-same-as-yours-in-Provo mentality.
I remember when I was on the Economic Development Board, our ED Director was proud when we engaged a powerful data mining company that could help us lure national retail accounts.
Nothing wrong with that, per se, but I was thankful that we'd already created another zone in town that was suited to small, unique, enterprises.
They say the recession has ended, but I have significant firsthand knowledge that, for many, the pain hasn't, and may not for awhile. I am seeing a lot of businesses on the brink of ruin, some founded by people who are true visionaries and innovators - it's not a pretty sight.
It could make a grown man cry.
Sorry, I couldn't find a picture of a grown man.
But, seriously, this is no time to be under-capitalized. There's a lot of rough sailing out there.
I get some of those free slick glamour magazines about how to live the high-tone life, I guess because my town is next to a hoity-toity town. You know, the kind with seventeen ads for cosmetic surgery and dentistry, how to create just the perfect backyard retreat, totally clutter-free garages, the best spas for you, and your twelve year old daughter. Oh, and for your dog, too.
Gimme a break! (Although I could seriously use the garage organizer...)
And of six ads for law firms, four were for divorce lawyers. Gee, you'd think all these folks going to the spa, fine dining and stuff would be all happy. Maybe not.
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights - low temps in the 50s. Sienna and I slept on the deck. That made us happy. We moved back inside last night.
Went for a bike ride tonight - near the end she was, well, dogged. Even as slow as I was pedaling, she went slower, and slipped loose from her leash/collar.
I'm still pleased with the results of trimming her nails/claws with the Ryobi rotary tool.
The pied piper blogger today re-posted a picture of our state's governor pointing a single-action revolver in the air during a speech last year. I just hope he doesn't shoot The Invisible Swordsman...
So now it comes to light that the Governator of Cal-i-for-nia has been engaged in extracurricular activities. Tsk, tsk.
Is there any such thing as fidelity anymore?
The video was probably more poignant before the revelation of Arnold's dalliances.
Another teacher scandal. So it's not just celebrities.
I don't know that I consider the students so much as victims, but certainly the children are, and the husband.
Took my shirts to a dry cleaner I haven't used in years. When I gave them my [old - land line] phone number, they asked "Ron?".
"No, it's Don." After a couple of back-and-forths, I conceded that "Ron" would work just fine in the context of the situation.
The counter girl working there was possibly not born in this country, and was very nice.
I was reminded of an old grade school friend who I visited with recently. Never married, he's pursued advanced degrees (Thunderbird - the management school, not the cheap hootch), lived and worked abroad. He was spending some time helping his dad's business when we visited. He told me I should take a trip to Costa Rica or to China (where he was headed in a few days), and that he could introduce me to women "who know how to treat a man".
Now, my friend wasn't going pimp on me and wasn't trying to set me up with a dangerous liaison. But he definitely was suggesting that foreign-born women are more deferential to men, and "know their place".
I, uh, thanked him, but, that's not really what I have in mind.
There was a Christian group years ago, maybe still around, called 'Equally Yoked' - I think that's more my style. I intend to remain the man of the house, and am sure not looking for a dominatrix (I don't know what that's all about), but not looking to be Lord of the Manor, either.
A sermon awhile back spoke of how spouses tend to objectify one another: Husbands view wives as sex providers, wives view husbands as income providers. I believe that can happen.
I think in this context, Ms. Slick would be equating "love" with "boink". Apparently lonely Marty Balin was the only band member she didn't love.
She had an awesome voice, and clearly paved the way for the women of rock who followed: Joplin, Ronstadt, Nicks, etc. But an awful personality.
Anyway, my idea of 'someone to love' is to put gas in her car, edge the sidewalk, bathe the dog, fix an appliance, go to Jazz on the Boulevard, cook a meal sometimes, load or unload the dishwasher, occasionally run the vacuum, keep the bears and wolves at bay,and give her a back rub (OK, this last may not be altogether altruistic - I'm a man, we're wired that way).
At the moment, I don't have high hopes of finding such a partner in crime.
I reduced more of my downed tree with the chipper this evening. And found a dead opossum in the front yard. Nasty, it was way too late for Opossum Helper.
SecTreas Timmy Geithner is announcing that the Federal Government will borrow from federal workers' retirement funds to keep the government running. Borrow?
And pay it back with what?
I don't work for the Feds, but anyone who believes that's a good idea probably also believes there's a big locked box where they keep all the Social Security Trust Fund safe. Uh-huh.
The U.S. made a big mistake going off the gold standard. Buy wheelbarrows, you're gonna need them.
Trimming Sienna's nails is a constant pain. She doesn't run enough on the pavement to wear them down, and squirms too much when I try to clip them.
I saw one of those devices from Bed, Bath and Body Works in the Beyond, or whatever, As Seen on TV, that uses batteries and files them instead of cutting them.
The Google said it sucked.
So I hauled out the Dremel tool (actually, I used the Ryobi, because it's variable speed, but I have a Dremel also) with a coarse sanding drum, and, on low speed, she actually let me do all four paws without going N-V-T-S, nuts. With the clippers, the best I can hope for is to do one or two paws at a time.
I found last year that I didn't care for the BP meds my doc prescribed. So, I'm kinda going the diet & exercise, oatmeal, dark chocolate and red wine route. I've been buying the 'two buck chuck' kinda stuff to drink a wee dram before bedtime.
My reviews? Wal-Mart's Oak Leaf Merlot - not so good, though in the past I've found the Cabernet acceptable. In a day or two I'll have a review of Winking Owl's Shiraz from Aldi.
So I get a call this morning. I didn't recognize the number on my cellphone, and before I could answer, the caller was gone. The caller ID was apparently masked. I tried to do a reverse number lookup, to no avail. Then I noticed I had a new voicemail message.
"Hey, give me a call!"
So, I thought I'd call this joker and explain that he'd dialed the wrong number.
"Hey, what are you doing?"
"Who is this?"
"I'm sorry, I still didn't understand you. Say again?"
"Don, it's Dewey!" (Aside: At this point, I could've said "Dewey who?" just to have some fun. But, truth be told, I had been concerned about the chap as I'd not heard from him in awhile, though I'll deny it to the ends of the earth.)
"Oh, hey, sorry about that. The new cellphone with the new carrier - I couldn't transfer my contacts over from the old phone. What's up?"
Well, what was up was that he was calling to explain to me that he wasn't going to take the bait from my post about the 'inflatable party zone', even though I'd emailed him the post after he failed to comment in the first couple of days. I told him, of course, of my disappointment over his not fulfilling his role as comic foil to my brilliant jest. He remained unmoved and unrepentant.
We proceeded to talk about this and that, whether Todd the Blogger had completed his move to the WC, and in due course I found that I needed to return my attentions to earning a livelihood.
But a while later, I texted the Dew to remind him that if he would not enter willingly into the web I'd carefully spun, I'd simply have to make up something from whole cloth.
The prior post reminded me of the lead-off song on Ms. Chapman's eponymous 1988 album, which also featured this song.
I remember when I bought this CD (at Musicland), one of the early ones to feature full digital production. The liner notes don't indicate if the Aphex Aural Exciter technology was utilized, but in any event, the music on the disc virtually leaps out of the speakers.
Though I may not be on the same page as Ms. Chapman politically, this remains one of my favorite pieces of recorded music.
I don't watch much television, but the other night The Voice was on in the other room. As part of the competition, Casey (girl) and Tony were doing a duet/sing-off of Leather and Lace, originally written for Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter (Waylon had done Gold Dust Woman on the Waylon & Willie album). As fond as I am of the original, the contestants did a knockout job that equalled, or possibly surpassed, the Nicks/Henley version.
For an interesting cover of GDW which segues into Simple Man, click here.
Not unexpectedly, rumors surrounding the planning operation to take out OBL are swirling.
While some have suggested BHO gave the order to boost his ratings, a supposed insider report indicates that the operation was set in motion not at his urging, but by Panetta, Gates and Clinton.
From reports I've watched so far, I think Panetta's & Clinton's stock rises faster than BHO's.
And what to make of the $billion$ given annually to Pakistan - for what?
If that were put to a [U.S.] national referendum, now that OBL's been taken out, you can bet that country would be cut off from the aid teat in a NewYork minute, by liberals and conservatives alike.
Less seriously - I have a report, unconfirmed, that just last week OBL had written Steve Jobs complaining that the tracking features in his new i-Phone were a violation of his privacy.
Others say that the Al-Qaeda leader was turned in by neighhborhood kids who didn't like the severed ears and fingers that were given out at Halloween.
A co-worker took me to task today for using the word "incredulous" - said I should use language ordinary people can understand. Now, I could understand if he were unfamiliar with some Bill Safire or Wm. F. Buckley terms like eleemosynary, or internecine. But incredulous?
I couldn't believe it.
Tonight I thought about having ice cream drizzled with Kampali (similar to Kahlúa), and some flax seeds. But instead I made a package of instant oatmeal with an added teaspoon of steel-cut oats from Sprouts. Heart healthy, ya know.
Who says I'm undisciplined?
Goodyear is replacing its blimp fleet with three new models. But it's not merging with Southwest.
I was going to go to bed early last night, when the news of OBL's demise broke.
Definitely good news, but like several others I've read, my reaction was tempered by the notion that, although he's been brought to justice, the Al-Qaeda still exists, and so we must maintain our vigilance.
After the initial euphoria, is there the beginning of finger pointing and nit-picking? As in liberals vs. conservatives?
I read elsewhere that it's too bad, under the circumstances, that we didn't put OBL's head on pike and parade it around for effect. I've read Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun (yes, it's a real book, ISBN 0-446-51516-7, Wess Roberts, Ph.D.), and I can understand the psych value for a victorious nation, as well as against the vanquished.
But, it's not the 12th century.
And I also know there's a numbers game here, as well. There's probably a lot more Muslims worldwide (whether all extremist, I don't know) and about 300 million Americans.
I'm content for now to believe that the handling of this was vetted long in advance by people well-schooled in statecraft as well as warcraft.
Now for some lighter fare.
After about three weeks or a month indoors, I slept outdoors a couple of days last week, when the temperatures dropped.
Over the weekend, daughter convinced me that we should sleep out on the deck, Friday and Saturday. The latter was going swimmingly, until about 3:30 in the morning, when it started sprinkling.
I'm kind of a bear to wake up, so I wasn't keen on hauling our whole sleeping bags & comforter setup indoors. And, it was only sprinkling. So, I located a tarp on the porch, just a few feet away, and used it as a makeshift rain fly. For the next three hours or so, I'd fold it back when it wasn't raining, and cover up when it did.
Around daybreak, the wind kicked up and the rain fell in earnest. (KnowhutImean about the Importance of Being Earnest, Vern?) At that point, I picked my daughter up - still in her sleeping bag - and carried her indoors, while I brought the remaining sleepgear in out of the weather.
We try to live adventurously, even at home.
I've said before, I'm the world's worst housekeeper, though I'm trying to reform.
I got an ad from one of those home places, featuring the Roomba - the little robot vacuum that works while you're away, and another device that does hard floors.
I need those.
Daughter and I took the dog to a Mutt Strut contest over the weekend. Sienna decided it would be fun to wade into the duck pond. Four. Times.
She also hopped into a couple of the troughs for watering the contestant dogs, even though (or perhaps because) they were filled with ice water.
We returned to the carnival in the evening, sans canine, and at Daughter's request rode the Kamikaze. I thought it was kinda fun, but she kept her eyes closed the whole time.
A lady walked into our office this morning, talking about all the rain. Picking up the gauntlet, I deadpanned that the local Home Depot had begun selling measuring tapes graduated in cubits.