Friday, May 29, 2015

River Run and Shadowrock Parks close!

River Run Park
After a relatively normal spring with normal rains, the Corps of Engineers have still managed to flood the lands along and down the Bull Shoals waterways! Is it any wonder that many people are upset?

As of May 29, 2015
The figures, (at right) for my area near Forsyth Missouri were tabulated by myself and may only represent an approximation of what the National Weather Service has for their records. As you can see, our area really hasn't had all that much rain when compared to historical standards. So, that brings up the question as to why the waterway is flooded? A situation that may become even more pronounced if the heavy rains that are forecast over the next few days actually materialize.

I took an opportunity to drive through Shadowrock Park only to discover from the Park attendant that it was also closed as was expected to flood! I was shocked as this park is higher in elevation than its sister park (River Run) to the south directly across Bull Shoals. According to the attendant, the reason for the rise in water levels was due to; 1) the desire by the government not to interfere with agriculture concerns in Hillary Clinton's home state of Arkansas and 2) that the Corps needed to reduce the water levels of Table Rock Lake upstream due to 'work that needed to be performed'! Really! You mean to tell me that the Corps couldn't have done this work over the winter when lake levels are traditionally lower? You mean to tell me the interests of people in another state trump those of us living in Missouri? Who knows...?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Meat prices set to rise sharply!

With no end in sight, the avian flu infections continue to rise all across the United States. Currently, about 34 million chickens have been destroyed in an effort to bring the plague to a halt. Experts are predicting it could be late June or July before a reversal of the trend is seen. And in the meantime, consumers can expect the cost of poultry, eggs and egg products to sky rocket in the months and years to come. Some analysts say consumers are probably seeing some price increases, not only for cartons of eggs but also for products that contain so-called liquid eggs, which are used in everything from mayonnaise to cake mix and are a major product of Iowa’s poultry industry. Fast food chains, like McDonald's, who do a significant amount of their business in breakfast foods, are expected to pass on costs to consumers that some predict could triple by the summer.

But wait, it gets worst. As the country finds itself with poultry meat at a premium, it's expected that the shortage will also drive up the cost of pork and beef just as the country is headed into the summer months. And, with inflation beginning to increase on products across the board, consumers may soon find themselves strapped for cash. All this happening at a time when the government is expected to ask for large increases in taxes to help offset a national debt that recently exceeded the eighteen trillion dollar mark.

Disclaimer: The post is based solely on the opinion of the author and may or may not reflect in a factual manner in all instances.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The psychology of weight loss!

I think I've now been on enough diets, over the years, to at least qualify myself as a novice in the art of losing weight! Whether it's been hi-carb, lo-carb or no-carb, I've pretty much tried them all. And, losing weight is definitely not rocket science – if you eat fewer calories than you burn you will lose weight! It's basically just that simple. [Of course, a little bit of exercise will work wonders in terms of speeding things up]. In theory, the more you work out the larger your weight loss will be by the end of the day. Plus, if you are consistently hitting your goals as far as to how much you eat, you will be forcing your metabolism to make up the difference by burning off fat. It's amazing how that works..... in theory!

Easy for me to say, but that's not all of what dieting is all about, is it? Very few of us approach a diet in such a purely mechanistic or robotic manner. No, I've found that it's usually an emotionally charged affair that is generally the result of some sort of trauma, (like waking up one morning and seeing your stomach proceed you into the bathroom)! Or, it might be more dangerous issues like heart disease or incipient diabetes! And, sometimes your doctor may inform you that it's all three – a sort of grand slam, thank you ma'am your damned kind of deal! That's because when a person takes on too much body fat, the stage gets set for all sorts of bad things to begin happening over time, none of which are very pleasant!

Let's take a real world example of what I'm talking about. I have this friend who I'll call DanO. He's a middle aged male who stands about 5'10 inches and who supports a medium frame. DanO should ideally weigh in at about 170 pounds, but sadly, he does not. One fateful day, when he happened to weigh himself on a dust covered scale, in his bathroom, he was shocked to find he suddenly weighed in at over 200 pounds! My-o-my, he thought, how did that happen just before heading on out to McDonald's for a Big Mac and then maybe a nap because he was always so damn tired...
OK, I think most of us can see there's something wrong with that picture. You see, DanO's heart was also struggling to carry that extra thirty pounds of weight where ever he went. What's worst is that there is also a 'lifestyle' associated with weight gain and in DanO's case it was all bad news. When he tried to exercise, he found that he quickly tires out. Well, who wouldn't? Try this experiment on yourself to see what I'm talking about. Grab a knapsack (you do own a knapsack don't you)? Then fill it with 30 pounds of whatever is lying around. (Rocks work great)! Once you have your sack filled to the proper weight, go ahead an sling onto your back and then go about your daily routine. I'll bet you a dollar to a creme-filled dough nut that before very long (20 minutes or so) you'll become very tired of carrying that damn thing around! Yet, our boy here has been doing just exactly that for years!
So you see, old DanO has found himself in somewhat of a quandary. His now sedimentary lifestyle encourages allow him plenty of time to overeat and any exercise he would contemplate never materializes. Yes, our fat friend DanO has found himself in a deep hole with no idea of how to climb out! What to do?

OK, so the hole you've found yourself in may be pretty deep, but you can get out of it! Just understand that a some things will have to change before that can even have a chance to occur. First off, on day #1 of your diet effort – Plan to shit can your current lifestyle (it ain't working anyway) and get serious! To accomplish this, you'll need to build yourself some sort of a framework to help get your fat little ass out of that deep hole you made for yourself over the years!

At right, we can see that DanO's diet hole is pretty darn deep! He's down there all by his lonesome with a only pile of numbered blocks for company. After a looking at them for awhile, he begins to arrange the objects in a way that might help him to climb on out.... Let's take a closer look....

Block 1 – The Foundation Block

The bottom most block that DanO selects represents the foundation of the his diet plan. I also like to call this the 'Planning Block' because before anything else can be put in place, you must have a master plan of what the end point or dietary goal will look like. That is to say you have to have a set of milestones, that once in place, will represent a kind of structure that can be followed to a preferred destination.

Block 2 – The Food Block

A core issue to successfully losing weight is gaining a firm handle on just what your unique Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is. This is the number of calories you'd burn even if you stayed in bed all day long! This site can help you quickly figure out what your BMR is. In DanO's case his was 1,760. Next we need to take that figure and see just what your daily caloric intake requirement is. For this I like to use the Harris Benedict Equation which is a formula that uses your BMR and then applies an activity factor to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). DanO figured that he was in the 'lightly active' category (perhaps he's an optimist). Therefore, his caloric calculation would be (1,760 x 1.375) or 2,420. That is to say that if he eats 2,240 calories a day, he would just maintain his weight. DanO wants to lose at least a pound a week, so he figures that since a pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories, then one seventh of that (or 500 calories) would have to be subtracted for a total net daily intake of (2,420 - 500) or 1,920 calories a day! So now DanO boy has got himself an 'eating goal' he can shoot for!

Block 3 – The Tracking Block

Now that DanO knows what the total calories are that he can eat in a day, he will also need some form of tracking program that will help him relate the foods he likes to eat with what they represent in the form of calories. He browses the Internet and selects a program call Fit Day (although he noted that there were many more good ones out there). This easy to use software program has everything anyone needs to formulate and track a safe and effective weight loss program. It tracks what he eats and how much he exercises and presents easy to understand reports that show how much progress he is making towards achieving his goals. Wow!

Block 4 – The Exercise Block

This block can be a real toughie for many of us. It being the second to the highest block to put into place, and thus will require a lot of effort to get it up there. And, you know what? That's precisely what exercise is all about! It's a prolonged period of hard work that will require lots of commitment and sweat over an extended period of time! It does have a good end-point, however. Once your body adjusts to the new routines, your metabolic rates shifts into a higher gear and as it does so endorphins start to be released. In short, these substances that are produced by the pituitary gland as a result of exercise act like opiates to the body – that is you begin to feel really good!

Block 5 – The Final Piece

OK, the edge of that mean old hole is in sight and DanO has only one more piece to put in place before he can crawl on out! But, this piece is a tricky Dick! If laid flat it won't quite do the job, but soon DanO discovers that if it's angled just right he can shimmy on up and escape. Later on, he realizes that this worked because now he is a lot lighter and more muscular due to all the previous work he has done in order to get to that point on the pile.

Congrats my've made it out and are now ready to resume your life!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Powersite Sewer Project moving forward!

Heavy equipment being staged on the River Run side of Bull Shoals
An estimated $2.2 million sewer bore project that would run through solid limestone rock 20 feet below Bull Shoals Lake and which was approved by the Taney County Commission after many years of discussion, looks to be finally moving forward.

As I understand it, the project consists of two steel bores 18 inches in diameter running side-by-side that would each encase a polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipe 12 inches in diameter where currently 250 gallons of waste per minute would travel underneath Bull Shoals Lake to the Ozark Beach system, then to the Forsyth waste water treatment plant.

According to my sources at GRE, the bore hole will take about 60 days to complete and once that is working to everyone's satisfaction, the real work of trenching sewer lines in the Valley View Village area will commence in earnest. This could be as early as September if everything falls neatly into place.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mobile 1 station in Forsyth MO under new ownership!

On the occasion of getting my oil changed in my vehicle, I was surprised to find that the Mobile 1 service facility located at 194 Coy Blvd., in Forsyth Missouri, was under new ownership when I drove over there to set an appointment! I had a chance to talk briefly with Dennis Renteria, the new owner, who seemed intelligent and nice. I made an appointment the next day at 8AM for an oil change and inspection. The next day, I arrived and was taken care of promptly and professionally. And, while I'm not clear on what happen with the previous ownership, this new guy seems to be OK. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Critique: Bean with Bacon soup!

Many years ago, when I was younger and even dumber than I am today, my father introduced me to a can of Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup, something I never would have tried myself. Today, it has become one of the very few enduring foods that I really enjoy from time to time.

Today, I cannot afford to buy the name brand product. I have to resort to purchasing a can of Best Choice at $1.29 for an eleven ounce can. Even that's a bit expensive in this Obama economy and so I only enjoy it once or so a month.

Preparation is as easy as it could get; just dump the contest into a small pot, add a can full of water, stir and heat to boiling. Your done and ready to enjoy a unique taste sensation! Each ½ cup serving contain 140 calories and no one I know eats just a cup – the average total servings are 2.5 1/2 cup servings, so I always eat about half or 190 grams at a sitting. This would equate to about 200 calories and that's OK with me. The only down side is the sodium which comes in at an astronomical 980 mg per serving. [That's 41% of a healthy person's recommended daily intake of salt from just this one product]!

On a scale of 10, I gave this a solid 8 and would highly recommend that everyone give it a try!