Month: August 2011

Pet door fantasy

I think I have finally come up with the ultimate pet door for those with critters who want to go in, out, in, out, in and out ad infinitum.

A revolving door with a hole in one panel and a harness to hold the critter in place.  They can trot around in a circle and go in and out as often as they like.  And if there is more than one in the household there can be various size holes in different panels (up to 4) and it be like  a playground merry go round.

How Gullible Can A Person Be

Why is it, I wonder, that some folks will believe almost anything?

I remember my grandmother used to read trashy “newspapers” along the lines of the National Inquirer and believe every word, because my grandfather had been the editor of a pair of religious newspapers.  Even as a little kid I was aware that the weird photos and tales were like modern day Grimm’s Fairy Tales … which were pretty darn grim!

I’ve recently meet yet another person who seems so well informed, until you actually listen to what’s being said.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I’m an Occam’s Razor sort of person. I do not get my news off conspiracy theory websites. I do not read a headline and assume it is correct. If I cannot verify information I ignore it.  I assume those who are in competition with each other and who have criticized each other in the past and done so unfairly will continue to distort and lie in the future.

I offered a book on the Atkins diet to someone who is already following it (although he did not really know it) and he sneered, “You know what he died of, don’t you?”  It was the know-it-all “I know something you don’t know” tone, I think.

I responded, “Yes, I do! He was a 72 year old man who was physically active and, except for cardiomyopathy caused by an infection, he was in great health. He was 6 feet tall and weighed 195 pounds. Walking to work on an icy sidewalk, he slipped, fell, and hit his head. He went into coma on the way to the hospital. During the time he was treated he gained 60 pounds of water weight and went into organ failure. His death certificate states he died of blunt injury trauma to the head.” 

My friend looked thunderstruck.  “But I read the headlines.”  (He gets his news from AOHell.)

Those headlines were retracted because they were lies. In fact, Newsweek had to print a retraction because Dean Ornish was untruthful about his old rival, Dr. Atkins. However, lies live far longer than truth in this world. We can thank the dishonesty of Dean Ornish, the Committee for Responsible Medicine (which is so freakin’ irresponsible) and PETA for defaming a caring, honest, and committed medical man.  Agree or not, he did his homework and his legacy lives on.  And, in the case of the guy I’ve been helping to control his blood sugar, reduce his weight, and get fluid out of his system – Atkins has risen from the grave to save his life.

And the moral of this story is – believe half of what you read, less of what you hear, and in these days of digital manipulation, assume the image has been PhotoShopped.

I kept the book.  Offer is no longer on the table.

How Time Flies When You’re Having Chaos

I’m told that Mercury is in retrograde, which is why communications are so rough right now.  If so, I’m going to hunt me down a little planet and, um, I’m not sure what then.  What to do with a miscreant planet.  Hmmmm. Taps fingernails on table. Where is Chuck Norris when you need him?

“The week that was” provided more than a bit of chaos.  There was an earthquake that shook up Boston – only having lived along the Pacific Ring of Fire I never noticed.

The dental surgery last weekend created the most amazing amount of pain.  I’ve taken more pain medication than I did after major abdominal surgery. On the plus side, I’ve eaten so little I’ve lost about 7 pounds and the way things are playing out I’ll be slim and trim in no time.

It appears the days of being able to carry a street legal kubaton (martial-arts self-defense key fob) are over in Boston at the Federal buildings. The thing is, though, that if someone is really determined to take someone out they can ram a pencil or pen into their eye.  Someone could put a ceramic knife in a pocket and walk through the metal detector. How about women in high heel shoes?  Spike heels could be lethal.  A tie could be used to garrote someone.  I have one pair of Dansko clogs that set off alarms because they have metal studs on them as decoration so I no longer wear them.  There is something perversely funny in the odd rather than the “ha ha” sense.

My most memorable moment was being in a City of Boston building during a mediation and having the city turn off the lights as a cost saving measure.  Did you know you can use an iPhone as a light source in a pinch?

Got my exercise today running up and down the stairs doing ungodly amounts of laundry and moving the outside inside.  The container garden is now located in the basement.  The outdoor furniture is tucked away.  Now, rather than Waiting for Godot, I am waiting for Irene.



Alarm clock

Alarm clocks are the bane of the hard of hearing (HoH).  If they are loud enough to rouse us they’re also likely to wake the dead.

I had an alarm that flashed a light in my face – which was great during the dark half of the Alaskan year, not so great during summer . One day the light blew up and shot out a fireball.  The unit itself was fried. I went back to trying to wake up to noise.

When I was married, my S.O. could hear a bug twitch at 500 paces. He had an alarm I couldn’t even hear and he got me up. For the last few years I’ve been sleeping like a cat, worried about not getting up in time.

About a year ago I got a vibrating wrist watch that alerts me when I need it during the day.  Still, I put off the HoH alarm.  In the end I went with an alarm that bypasses sound for vibration and stuck the round vibrator under my pillow stack.

After two days I turned off the other alarm. Being gently shaken awake is just my cuppa.

As the population ages there are going to be more and more people who need adaptive devices like this and the cost is modest – perhaps $30 on the high end. And it occurs to me that it might be more polite to use anyway.  Shhh… people are sleeping.


In general, I am a non-drinker.  I have been told that drinking wine is good for the body and the soul, but to be frank – bleh!  So now and then I try beer.  Why beer? Well, wine is alcoholic and so is beer.  It must be the booze, methinks, that is healthy, although some think it is the grapes.  To quote my daughter, “Whatever…”

Today I was looking for burgundy for a Burgundy sauce for a pot roast and the little “package”‘ store had a whole area of what the owner referred to as “beer geek beers” I decided to examine.  In the melange of brews I found one worth a try.  Gorzet (Gooseberry ) Wheat Ale.  It’s an ancient recipe, which appeals.  It’s from Scotland, which also appeals (me being a Celt).  And what a great list of ingredients – including gooseberries, bogmyrtle and meadowsweet.  Who could resist?

I took it home, cooled it down and … gee, our ancestors really had something going here. Normally I take a couple of sips and then pour it out as too bitter and nasty to be endured.  Now I find I will go buy another one sometime. Maybe for Mabon. Not wanting to rush the alcohol consumption or anything, one every couple of months should be just fine.  Right? $3 for 11 oz, is a wee bit steep, then again, maybe I’m “lost in the 50’s” eh? Or is that the 1650’s, considering the age of the recipe.

Mac Attack

Okay, I admit it, I’m an Apple devotee. It didn’t start out that way. Back in the day when Atari was a serious competitor against the personal computer, I went with Commodore. In fact, I opted for the 128.  Woo hoo.  It didn’t have a split-screen – I could type without having the screen jerk back and forth like a boat on an ocean during a storm.  I hated the seasick feeling the PC gave. It was a challenge … I had to learn enough BASIC to make the thing run. I moved on to Amiga and eventually got one with a snap-on hard drive, followed by one with an internal hard drive. Nirvana!

However, in the middle 90’s Windows became enough of a standard I had to learn 3.1 and the early Office applications. I learned to be expert with it, but it was a necessary evil. I never liked it.

Then came my Apple Genius son-in-law who talked me into the first OSX machine; the one with the round base and the swing arm. It was too flippin’ simple. After all the years of struggling with Windows, it was so simple it drove me nuts. I wanted to hurl the thing out of the 3rd story window.  I learned to relax into the Apple and since then I’ve gotten a 21 inch iMac, replaced a MacBook with a second Macbook and now have a MacBook Pro.  The latest acquisition is an iPad2 tricked out in legal apps and document production tools.  I’m gloating that I can use encryption and the cloud plus my little iPad to be like a country lawyer with “a-joggin’ a-long with a heart full of song and a rifle and a volume of the law…”  (Sugarfoot lyrics) Okay, no rifle in Massachusetts since I don’t have an FID card and they’d lock me up as plum crazy if I tried to walk into a court with a rifle, especially in places like Cambridge Probate, where they will take away a self-defense keyring I can take into a Federal Court.  (go figure).

But I digress…  I’m clearly happy with Apple products (what I refer to as the Mac Attack), as evidenced by my stable of them (plus an iPhone and a Nano), but I love the iPad2.  I think it has something to do with the light weight, the flexibility of use (not to mention the snazzy red case with the bluetooth keyboard) and Flipboard. There, I said it, Flipboard was recommended as a legal app for the busy lawyer who wants to skim everything from Facebook to Google News to – well, probably whatever you want.  The Mac Attack has landed.  Again.  And it is good.


Nah, it’s not an ad, merely the site I use to track my intake and exercise.  I’m told there are others and some of them may be better for all I know.  I’m just invested in this one.  But that’s another story for another day.

Today, as I’m at the gym and entering my cardio and strength exercises I commented to a gym buddy that I worked off 400 kcal in just cardio. That sparked commentary that lasted for 20 minutes about not eating enough to cover the calorie deficit.  Frankly, since one needs a calorie deficit to lose weight (since I’m not low carbing enough to be in benign dietary ketosis) I have no idea what the person thinks the problem is.

You cannot lose weight without eating fewer calories than you expend over one’s basic metabolism.  Since my routine stuff (grocery store walking, gardening, etc.) is a part of that basic rate, it is nothing I pay attention to in order to get off a plateau that has lasted months!

The only problem I see is that I tend to eat very lightly in in the morning and early afternoon and then find myself scrambling at night to get in enough water and protein (at least 120 grams). It looks as if I am eating a lot, but when one eats only a few hundred calories during the preceeding 8 hours that is what happens.  I suppose this means I need to drink more protein during the day and that means getting more packets to drag around with me (I use unjury) so I can add it to whatever I happen to be drinking at the time.

I’m a boomer. I am not fast of metabolism and it takes a lot of exercise to get my system going.  I was working out 2-3 hours a day for months with no weight loss, then took two months off and am  now having to build back up to intense 45-60 minutes of cardio a day plus 45-60 minutes of weight training and stretching.  I realize that having lost about half of my body mass I look better than before, but seriously, I want to get the last 20% of the exess body fat off!  When I began I could see where I wanted to be.   Now I see how much I have left to accomplish.

Nod of the head to my personal trainer and my nutritionist from Tufts since we all sing the same caloric deficit song.  SparkPeople tells me I’ve consumed 1242 kcal today. More gym tomorrow.  More calorie deficit.

I think I’m tired now…

I have a friend who biked most of the way through New Hampshire to Massachusetts.  He’s no competition bike rider (aka cyclist) and I have some of the funniest texts from him after reaching the tops of some mountains as in “haven’t thrown up yet.” He’s been bicycling everywhere after a friend (former friend) totaled his car.  In the process of spending months biking, he’s lost tons of weight and generally feels pretty good, except for one knee that’s complaining a bit.  He’s in his mid-40’s and is looking great from all the exercise.  However, I admit, thinking about him bicycling up and down mountains and hills for hundreds of miles leaves me feeling tired.

Was I ever that young?  Yes, once upon a time.  And, ladies, this guy is single.  And cute.  And did I mention smart? And too young for me.  Drats.  ;^)  Ahh, well, he is a dear friend, and I’m not sure who among you searching for a great guy would be good enough for him.  0.o

Can I be called Doctor Now?

Recently I was called to an area hospital where a relative of mine had been transported complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath. While waiting, I noted that I’d have a sore chest and a hard time breathing too if I was sneezing that hard.  A few times I wondered if I’d be able to hear again – or if the walls to the room would collapse.

After several hours of waiting for x-rays, blood tests, and heavens knows what else, the doctor said they could find nothing wrong and inquired of the patient about coughing, but not sneezing. I tend to be a buttinsky and a little sarcastic, but this time I never said, “Well, duh, I’m surprised you didn’t hear the sound blasts all the way into the O.R., figure it was a terrorist attack and call for a SEAL team.”

I am convinced that if I stay in a room with someone for a few minutes and listen to them sneezing like Shrek would after taking a hit of snuff that I would be able to charge for saying, “You’ve got allergies.  Take a zyrtec for sneezing and go home. While you’re at it, take one of those benadryl/painkiller mixes and knock yourself out until the pollen surge is over. I’ll be over with chicken soup later.”

I am a mother and a grandmother.  I can diagnose anything and fix most things with chicken soup.  Can I have my fee now?  That will be one hug, one kiss, and an “I love you.” Cheap, too!

Death of the organic garden

Soft sounds of Taps on the wind.

I know it was needful to spray for mosquitos since we now have West Nile virus infected blood suckers here. (sigh) Really, I appreciate the pubic health need.

It is just that I worked so hard on the organic garden for my multiple chemical sensitivity afflicted friend. Now I’m back to scrubbing vegetables and fruits to get toxins off them that could trigger real problems in her.

OTOH, I feel vindicated about my directions to a diabetic friend to totally avoid grains. Not only are his sugars better and the swelling in his body down and he has experienced needed weight loss, but when he ate grains today he blew up like a water balloon and is now a believer. When one has been poisoning themselves for 60 years it is not until one removes the poison from the body for a while and then re-introduces it that one sees the difference.