Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random Thoughts for March 2012

Atheists definitely need a place of their own!

Seems that the 200 or so Atheists who currently reside in the US (God bless them) are at it again. This time they’re suing the State of Pennsylvania over a proposition calling 2012 ‘The Year of the Bible’. While I’m not sure how well that will turn out, I do understand that these folks need a place where they can go and not be harassed by all the bible thumping ‘believers’ out there.

This is why I have forwarded a bill for President Obama to consider which would allow for the construction of a ‘special town’ to be built out somewhere in Death Valley. Think of it. This God forsaken piece of real estate would be a perfect place to park relocate these people so they could live and work and do whatever it is the Godless do with their lives. Death Valley is devilish hot and it’s located in California. (A double bonus for these folks with the benefit of knowing that soon they will either slide off into the ocean or be sold to the equally Godless Chinese). In either case this could be a win-win situation for the rest of us.

Is our President constipated?

I realize that this is a very sensitive question, but gosh almighty, I have to ask it! In recent video coverage of him on TV, he sure looked to me like a man with both buns firmly clinched. Why, the last time I got ‘plugged up’ like that, I walked exactly the same way. Perhaps a soothing warm enema (administered by a concerned public) is just what the doctor might order to get him all ship-shape again. That and maybe a heaping tablespoon of algae…

Will the Supreme Court get it right?

It seems the whole world is watching to see how the highest court in the land will rule concerning the mess that is the current healthcare bill. Personally, I’m hoping that they will support all three areas that are being challenged. This would make for much frolic and fun as, in one stroke of opinion, the court could open the door wide open for a complete takeover by the government. Just think of all the things that could be thrown into the newly created slush bucket of FIC or ‘Forced Interstate Commerce’. Why the Fed would now have free reign to slam bills up John Q Public arse any old time it wants to! And what of the fate of the lower courts that supported the repeal of the personal mandate? Would they dare ever show their faces again? I’m not sure, but there is one thing I do know. MSNBC would have an absolute field day thumbing their noses at media outlets like Fox. Why I’d even wager they might go from eight viewers to even as many as twenty!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What happens when gas goes through the roof?

click to enlarge

According to experts, a $10 increase in a barrel of oil translates into roughly a 25 cent increase in retail gasoline prices. Every one penny increase in gasoline is then worth about $1 billion in household energy consumption and will be paid for by the masses via staggering increases in transportation, food, fertilizer, plastics and clothing. And, the real rub to all these increases? Sadly, much of that money will go directly to the countries who seek to overthrow our way of life!

I cannot remember a time, over the course of my long life, of having lived through such a period of needless chaos as that which has occurred under the Obama Administration. His policies and directives have resulted in one crushing failure after another with even his ‘crown jewel’ accomplishment of Health Care now under consideration by the Supreme Court as to its constitutionality.

Today, the Nation is teetering on the brink of complete economic collapse courtesy of inept command and control in the White House combined with the advice of truly evil men who I feel are seeking the destruction of this country from within. Even the very men and women who have been elected to the Halls of Congress to solve our nation’s problems have been rendered completely impotent and useless by the sheer mass of corruption and power mongering that goes on behind closed doors. Today, the result of over three years of poor administration is becoming clearer each and every day as a once all powerful Republic struggles for 'economic air' amid outside forces that seek to still its breath forever.

This spring of 2012, the battle for survival has shifted to the cost of energy. While we struggle in the very midst of a crisis he has helped to create; the President had the unmitigated gall, in a recent address, to suggest that one way out might be through the use of algae! He also insists that, even though they currently supply less than 2% of our countries energy needs, that somehow windmills will save us and make of free. That solar power is still the wave of the future in spite of the disasters as seen in Solyndra.  Well, Mr. President, I beg to differ and with any luck, you and your sorry group of elitist idiots will be thrown out of office come November of this year.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sprucing up a salad in early spring!

Every spring you can count on me to have something tasty growing somewhere in my yard! Whether it’s a few odd lettuce plants placed here or there or some sprigs of chives, it’s these little surprises that can make late winter much more endurable.

Today, I was sappy to find that some romaine lettuce I planted next to my driveway last year had bulked up and was ready for harvest. What a nice deal that was too. No bugs or bug eaten leaves to worry about. The chives, which I have divided into clumps here and there all over the lot, are up and make a super tasty addition to a tossed salad. 

At only about 120 calories including a low fat dressing, this crunchy salad makes a tasty and low impact addition to any meal.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some notes on weight loss after sixty!

First of all, if you don’t really need to lose weight, then don’t bother! I can tell you right off that while putting the pounds on was effortless, getting them off has felt like scraping barnacles off the hull of a wrinkled ship. (I’m sure that keeping them off will also be even more fun and games)!

The problem is an having an active metabolism. At my age, my body just doesn’t want to start in the morning and even the mere thought of exercise is enough to instill a deep and lasting fear. I discovered that the hard way after working out for just a few days via walking and digging around my garden. The sore muscles that resulted almost kept me in bed for days afterward. However, I will grudgingly admit to some progress, as over the last week as I’ve apparently built up some tolerance to the pain. Liberal doses of aspirin help out a lot too.

Stiff muscles aside, I’ve also had to watch my eating habits like the proverbial hawk. It’s amazing how easily I find myself wanting to slip back into those bad old habits. Increasingly, I find myself planning meals out far in advance. I also find myself cheating as in thinking that a whole cup of pasta is really only half a cup. It’s not. Yes, my friends, you must measure every morsel you consume whether it is via a measuring cup or scale that weighs in grams (usually both). You must also find a good food tracking program like Fit Day or Calorie Count (both free on the Internet) and use these religiously until you reach your set goal.

Speaking of goals, I found that losing anything over five pounds needs to be measured in months, not weeks. (While anyone can go on a crash diet for a week or so, it’s neigh impossible to keep it up for very long). I know, because I’ve tried.  A sensible weight loss should be about one pound a week, and even that can be a real challenge if you love food as I do. Figure it this way. A pound of fat equals somewhere around 3,500 calories. If you’re going to lose just that much per week, you need to consume (3,500 divided by 7 = 500) fewer calories per day than what your body burns either to just stay alive (Base Metabolic Rate) or through exercise (another good idea). Now, for an older man such as myself who has a somewhat sluggish metabolism, I may only burn about 1,700 calories on a good day. So, subtracting 500 from 1,700 gives me about 1,200 calories that I would be allowed to eat on any given day. Now, in case you’re wondering, 1,200 calories is not all that much food (at least to me it isn’t). Here’s a sample day’s menu that illustrates this point:

Meal                   Food               Gram wt                  Calories             Comments

                     Oatmeal                      40                           123                  Half a cup
                     Milk 2%                   117                             61                  Half a cup

                     Green beans               68                             40                 
                     Corn                           68                             33                 

                     Bologna SW             xxx                           255                  Sandwich w mayo
                     Orange juice             117                             57

                     Salad w Catalina      162                             73                  1 c. low fat dressing

                     Banquet Pork Rib    283                           320                  TV dinner    

                     Salad w Catalina      162                             73                  1 c. low fat dressing
                     Glass of wine           200                             71
                     Peanuts                      20                           116

Total Calories                                                            1,221

Wow! That wasn’t all that much food, but it was sure amazing to see the calories pile up. Keep this up for a week and you might just lose a pound! Wanna lose ten pounds. Well then, you’d have to keep this ‘starvation diet’ going for another nine weeks! Looking at the total nutrition for the day (panel at right), you can see that I might also want to consider taking some multiple vitamins while I’m losing weight.

Now while dieting is difficult, it can be done! And the good news is that there are a couple of ways you can sort of ‘cheat’. Here are a few suggestions:

Drink lots of water!

By drinking a lot of fluids (not beer unfortunately), you will at least feel full. Doing this especially before eating really helps you to keep the total amount of food you eat down while not feeling so empty afterwards.

Learn to love those tossed salads!

A good tossed salad provides lots of nutrients for only a few calories. If you mix the components up with the additions of fruits and other assorted veggies you can make the salad a center feature of you’re eating regime. They will keep your tummy full while allowing you to meat your daily caloric goal.

Exercise a whole bunch!

This is one of the few ways you can ‘cheat’ on your diet. For every calorie you expend on exercise, you are building up ‘credits’ in your food allowance bank. This means you can either burn them by eating more or saving them for that trip to McDonald’s. Finding an activity that you enjoy and that burns calories is the Holy Grail of dieting. It can make all the difference in not only losing weight, but in helping to keep it off once you have attained your goal.

I hope this post might be of some small help to others out there that are facing the prospect of a diet that may seem to stretch on into eternity. Just remember that every time you get up off the couch, you’re going to burn additional calories. So find an activity like walking, gardening or biking to help you make it without breaking it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is this the face of an Atheist? No, I’m not actually a real person.

I am the creation of a simple man using the tools given him by a technology that was built upon over millions of years via the blood sweat and tears of millions who came before. But, yet…

In my fake existence and display, therein lays the affirmation of something that yet needs to be discussed and examined here in this tiny speck of interstellar space. For any deity or carboniferous form who could have even the most rudimentary understanding of the vast blackness and emptiness of existence would cry with absolute astonishment and wonder at such a feat of awareness!

This begs the question of God. Does He exist….? I know I do and therefore He does.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Critique: Chicken Romano Fresca

What's on the outside is what's on the inside!

Let me begin this critique with a brief discussion of the word ‘Romano’ which is used in the naming of this dish. Romano is actually a reference to the Romans who made it a habit to introduce the ‘backward Brits’ to the concept of fresh vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle. One way for the new ‘Romano-British’ elite to demonstrate their high status of that period was to invite their aristocratic neighbors to dine lavishly on food imported from around the Roman Empire. On the other side of the coin, no one seems to know where the hell the term ‘Fresca’ came from. (I think the HC people used it because it sounds so cool when used right after the word Romano). (Hey! Maybe I should change my name! “Hi, DanO Romano Fresca here! Would anyone care for a game of squash?” Then again, maybe not)!
I originally purchased this entrĂ©e alongside another similar dish called ‘Lemon Herb Chicken’ both of which are made by the folks at Healthy Choice. They are part of a group of entrees that are ‘steamed in situ’, which basically means you leave the plastic cover in place while nuking the contents on high for about four minutes. (Somehow this makes it a healthier experience according to HC, although I’m not really sure why that would be so).

At only 230 calories and with low levels of cholesterol and sodium, this meal passes muster when it comes to good nutrition. (I’ll give credit where credit is due). HC does make an effort to keep some ingredients that can be bad for you (like sodium) at lower levels than what is found in other similar frozen offerings. In general they will cost a bit more, but if you suffer from hypertension, I feel they are worth it! Now, what about the scoring?

Category                    Score                              Comments
Appearance:                  8                Very appealing  
Smell:                            8                Wholesome and good
Texture:                         8                Pasta done right and meat was perfect!
Taste:                             8                A satisfying blend of taste sensations!
Average:                         8                We got ourselves a winner here!

This offering by the folks at HC hit a home run in my opinion. Low calorie impact and great taste combine to make this a meal to try and then to stock up on!

Disclaimer: All content in this post is the sole opinion of the author and may not reflect that of other readers.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leave to the small town papers to get it right!

This is a clipping from a small town newspaper in Michigan. The man is direct and to the point!

Click to make larger