October 31, 2009

Playing at Atheism


Perhaps you’ve heard about a successful campaign sponsored by some atheists in Europe to put placards on the sides of buses propagating the anti-God point of view. The signs displayed in and around London and Genoa read “The Bad News is There is No God; The Good News is You Don’t Need Him.” This is just the latest in a worldwide campaign to debunk the very idea of God and to mock religion, especially Christianity. Like so much of the “new” atheism, which has gathered steam since September 11th, 2001 and includes the work of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and their army of disciples, this latest expression is popular, flip, and deeply unintelligent.

Around the mid-point of the twentieth century there flourished the existentialist movement, led by such figures as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. These philosophers argued rather vigorouly against the proposition that God exists, but, to their credit, they saw the deep sadness and feeling of emptiness that result from atheism. They sensed that there exists in the human heart a longing for meaning that nothing in the world can satisfy and hence they pronounced life without God as absurd. The “ethic” of existentialism involved a willingness to accept this absurdity and to assert one’s freedom in the face of it. Now, I don’t think for a minute that Sartre and his colleagues were right about the non-existence of God, but at least they were clear-eyed enough to appreciate the terrible tension that obtains between the infinite longing of the human heart and the absence of the one reality that could possibly assuage it. The one thing that they were intelligent enough never to have said is that God does not exist, but not to worry, we don’t need him. Even as they denied him, they knew that God, by definition, is what the human heart desperately needs. The bus placards reveal that today’s atheists, by contrast, are childish, playing at atheism rather than seeing to the bottom of it.

If we consult the Bible, we find, in fact, a way past atheism. There are parts of the book of Job, many of the psalms, some of the lamentations of the prophets that could have been written by Sartre or Camus on their darkest days. But the most “existentialist” text in the Bible is the book of Qoheleth, known in older translations as the book of Ecclesiastes. Qoheleth presents himself as an old man who has seen it all, done it all, achieved it all. He has experienced deep friendship; he has explored the wisdom of the ages; he has built palaces and gardens; he has had sexual delight; he has weilded power. And all of it he pronounces “wind and chase after the wind,” for none of it has finally satisfied him. But this doesn’t lead Qoheleth to despair or to a willful embrace of absurdity. Rather, it leads him to confess his faith in God, to allow his desire to pass beyond the goods of this world to the supreme and transcendent Good. Every one of us, if we are honest, move readily into the stance and attitude of Qoheleth. We experience an aching sense of incompleteness when we fail, suffer, and want but even more so when we succeed, rejoice, and achieve. For especially in those times of fulfillment, we become acutely aware of what the spiritual writer Ronald Rohlheiser calls “the holy longing,” the desperate need for God.

And the awareness of this need is precisely what pushes us past atheism. An animal eats enough, finds sufficient shelter, gets his requisite exercise—and he falls blissfully asleep, utterly satisfied. But the human animal attains all of those goods—and many others besides—and yet turns uneasily in his bed, still wanting more, even if he is unable to articulate clearly what that “more” is. What this proves, so our great tradition argues, is that we humans are very peculiar creatures indeed. We are hybrids and half-breeds, part animal and part angel. Our very desire for goods and truths that transcend this world proves that there is more in us than an animal nature. If we were, as the materialists and atheists argue, just extremely clever animals, we should remain as content as any dog when, with our superior skill, we attain those simple things that make a dog happy. But our very restlessness proves the reality of some alluring and transcendent Good that we call God.

And this brings me back to those buses and their atheist slogans. The claim that God’s non-existence is a matter of indifference is not only offensive to believers; it’s actually stupid, even on atheist grounds. And at any rate, once we’ve been through the finally illuminating darkness of which Qoheleth speaks, we can see that another slogan is far more appropriate: “The bad news is: nothing in the world satisfies us; the good news: so what, God exists!”

Happy All Saints Eve!

The origin of the festival of All Saints as celebrated in the West dates to 610AD, when Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs; the feast of the dedicatio Sanctae Mariae ad Martyres has been celebrated at Rome ever since.

The feast of All Saints, on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III (731–741) of an oratory in St. Peter's for the relics "of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world", with the day moved to November 1.

In the Catholic Church All Saints Day is a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning going to Mass on the date is required (unless one is ill or elderly). However, in the United States, All Saints Day is not considered a Holy Day of Obligation when it falls on Monday or Saturday, as well as having no obligation at all in Hawaii.

October 30, 2009

House Bill linked

If your interested in the House version of the Health Care reform, Click here. The Senate Bill has not been posted as of yet. There is a strong suggestion that it should be posted. Which will hopefully allow We the People to peruse what they are wanting to do.

As far as the House bill goes. Per the Heritage Foundation: "The bottom line is: Almost everybody will pay more, and a new appointed bureaucrat will make your health care choices for you."



  • Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines.
  • Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do.
  • Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.
  • Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

October 29, 2009

October 28, 2009

Dollhouse

Maybe it was heightened expectations. After all Firefly had such untapped potential that it was crushing to see it die too soon. It is still one of the best shows never seen. Funny in that if it was BBC it would be a full series....

Joss himself lamented over the problems with season one and boy were they deep. Every so often (not often enough) you would get a glimpse of something, only to tune in next week to find it was nothing. I have considerably lowered expectations now, the last week was more "meh" then riveting, still it was better then the entirety of last season. I really have a wait and see attitude that is yawningly away from loosing me.

With my DVR I decided to watch Angel. I had never gotten a chance due to the WB oddness that occurred (suddenly it wasn't a broadcast channel, then it was dumped from various services) . As luck would have it, TNT shows it early in the AM. Two shows a day, so I can play catchup in a minimal amount of time.

This show has everything that Echo and crew are missing. A flawed hero, character conflicts, confused loyalties, plot twists and delicious dialog. It is character driven with a weave of plot lines that get to the edge logic and reason, with that lucky device of a magical world.

I can only imagine that Joss has lost his mojo for creating interesting, engaging characters when looking at Dollhouse. At this point I am biding my time for Chuck to start up.

Oh, White Collar started this week. It was pretty fun and on my keep watching list.

October 26, 2009

Red Plus blud letting

I'm a car carrying donor of the Red Cross, I would post my ID but I am fairly sure thats top secret, need to know... umkay, maybe not. But I do give regularly and today was another blood letting.

Now the cool thing about giving blood is that they take your Blood Pressure and write it on the card. Any given day any given blood pressure can be up or down. It is a trend over time you are looking for.

So with my weight loss earlier this year I was wondering how my BP was looking.

1-2007 122/88 (I am around 270lbs)
3-2007 134/80
5-2007 138/88
7-2007 138/74 **you get the idea**
Moving forward
3-2009 132/80 (When I started loosing)
5-2009 118/68 (around 230 lbs) Walking to and from work.
7-2009 114/72 (around 211 lbs) Starting to ride my bike.
8-2009 118/70 (around 208 lbs)
10-2009 112/58 (around 200 lbs)

Well, anyways I was pleased.

As is tradition in the Autistic mind (pictures)




Trevor making the "Angry face." Note the Dremel pumpkin tool we got at Lowes.


























This is my assigned "Smile" pumpkin, I went for a Mater look...











This one is Connor's design. Not sure if he assigned himself anything. He likes the results.




Mom got to do the "Love" face. Which came out the best.

October 24, 2009

The Government Can!!!

Civility online (the loosing art)

"Trolling" Internet Terms to know and share:

Trolling is an attempt to bait someone. To get them to respond, either through wise-crackery, knowingly posting incorrect information, asking blatantly stupid questions, or other foolishness.

Nearly all trolled statements are meant to be funny to some people, so it does have some social/entertainment value. "Trolling" isn't simply "harmful statements".

Intentionally insulting/libelous statements are "flaming".

The goal of trolling is to get fed; "Feeding the Trolls". This is when people 'take the bait' or respond with a trolled reply or replying to comments that are blatantly from a troll.

This is especially true when a troll first makes his comment, and (usually many) people respond, either trying to correct the troll, or express anger at the statement. At that point, the trolling was successful and has been fed.

When encouraged by success and feeding, trolls often return.

October 23, 2009

As is tradition in the autistic mind.

Today is a very special day. It is the day Connor goes to the pumpkin patch to pick up a pumpkin.

This has been a local outing since Kindergarten. More then that, it is a a ritual tradition that Autumn means "Go to Pumpkin patch." Early last month he ambled into our room and proclaimed that he would be going, never quite sure if he was told he was going to go or he decided he was going to go we dutifully set up a timeline. Which was then etched into the stone of his life.

When we got a note saying he needed to dress for muddy conditions, it seems as a near sure thing. If not, we will make a family journey to get pumpkins. We have to get four Pumpkins and will be assigned on what emotion\design we are to create. After all Connor is a benevolent task master. I can only attempt to explain how much fun he is when thus motivated. He gets so much enjoyment out of these little traditions. I feel it helps him make sense of things, gives him that consistency of life that keeps him even keeled.

As a family we had all but eliminated the pumpkin carving portion of things. On our hill, we do not get many trick-or-treaters. Our towns tradition is to have a huge kids parade downtown which all the shops have treats for the kids. There are some neighborhoods that are well traversed, just not ours.

He was going to get four pumpkins and put them in his backpack. We told him to get one and we would get three more. Maybe a few more, so we can make some pie.

Autumn is awesome. Connor sees to that...

October 22, 2009

Tops Day Info

Weight 208
Calories this week: 11,500
Calculated RMR: 15,528

Should have lost ~ 1.15 pounds

Walked 15 miles.
Biked 15 miles.

October 21, 2009

Dad Stuff

While I was enjoying my day off I spotted a stave in the yard. That got me to thinking about Connors Halloween costume (toon Link). So I headed off to make him a sword.

I picked out a couple of decent staves (read; no knots) and rough sanded one of them down. Cut a couple of pieces for the cross guard and rough sanded those as well. This is one of those times that having a table belt sander would have been really handy.

I pre-drilled and drywall screwed the contraption together and presented it to Connor.

Which turns out to be the best bit. Connors eyes lit up with excitement as he became Link. Of course he soon asked for the shield. Further the sword needs to be painted.

Thus runs the fleeting heroism that is a Dad.

Pain in the foot.

On my right foot at the base of the Navicular, between the Cuboid and Calcaneus there is an injury of some kind. Yes, I looked up the chart as a means of pinpointing, not to be all snooty about my skillz.

This all seems related to standing on the break during a traffic accident a few years ago. For the longest time I would periodically get a nerve blast of pain from my ankle. That is no longer the case.

This particular injury feels like there is a break deep inside. I know that massaging the connective tissue helps, as does heat. So I think it might be something other then a break. I really do not have any clue.

My thought is to go to a podiatrist and find out. I have already had x-rays, post crash. It seems my recent bike ride flared it up, but I did not notice anything till the next day.

It does not stop me from walking (I have some good new balance shoes). It just makes me wonder if It is going to get worse.

Umkay, So now its a depression?

This is a Depression...

October 20, 2009

Motivation and Lazy.

I am pondering celebrity. Is it about the fame, the lifestyle, the money, the power or all of the above? Entertainment is an odd thing, it starts with that one person in the tribe that can make the others laugh "with him". The cool thing is that part has never changed.

Somehow we as a group have misplaced awe about people due too their ability to entertain on certain media. While I fully agree that a great performance deserves credit, the actor is just another shlub with a job.

So you have a given performance, into a string of performances. That would indicate said schlub is good at said craft. As a group we should certainly recognize ability.

I would say the mastery of several entertainment crafts, writing and acting, singing and dancing, etc, would be your next level of performer.

Finally that special niche for those who excel at one area of performance. Jugglers, acrobats, and so on. While they are fairly stuck at what they do, they have become the art.

And still it would be about achievement. The did-you-see-when-they... of it all.

As a group we tend to "worship" based on silly criteria. I enjoy the writings of G. K. Chesterton. I do not understand the fascination around Paris Hilton. Guess which one is better known...

October 19, 2009

Monday Errands

It rained last night. It had cleared up by morning. So I decided to run errands. By Bike!

9:00 AM I headed down our hill and over the next, through downtown and across the Umpqua River. Harvard Blvd. heads out of town West and leads to the more rural area's of our county, and heads along the river. The houses across the road all have large picture windows (for obvious reasons). It was surprisingly warmer then the cloudy sky would indicate. Next to no wind could be felt and while my cheeks got cold it was a pleasant sensation. Fall colors abound and littered the black asphalt with a mosaic that hinted at traction danger. At this time of day, on this route, I was the only person on the planet. There is an underlying noise that a lazy river makes. At the fifteen minute mark I stopped to re-hydrate and stood at a slight bluff overlooking millions of gallons of slow moving water. Wonderful, sounds, sights and smells was quite the reward.

Onward I started the loop back into Roseburg. This goes past our local farms, surprisingly busy at this time. As Garden Valley is a more popular route, I started seeing more cars. (I should note that in my town more cars are in the tens). Now was a climb into town. This bluff, at this time, thirty minutes into my journey. Second water break at the top of the hill, also a reminder that getting into shape is a journey, not a destination. The bummer is after all that climbing the downhill was nil. Just as well as I am working, which is a good thing.

Now for the Errand, locked the bike and returned some items. Then to the bank and finally buying some groceries. We are having a tight week, having paid some medical bills. So I got a 10 lb bag of potatoes, 5 lbs of carrots, a jar of sauerkraut and veggie dogs. Get that? Approx 18 pounds of food to strap on my back. It was a step backwards in weight loss.

The final leg was through the city park and along the river again. Something of a theme for this trip. For one of the first times in a long time I was not able to make it all the way up the 150 foot climb to the house and had to walk it a little. Still it was a nice ride.

October 18, 2009

101

O truant Muse, what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer, Muse: wilt thou not haply say
'Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermix'd?'
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so; for't lies in thee
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb,
And to be praised of ages yet to be.
Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
To make him seem long hence as he shows now.

By William Shakespeare

October 16, 2009

Quite the Vindication for Mr. Limbaugh (link list)

There is no doubt in my mind, that if Mr. Limbaugh had stated anything racist it would have come out. Instead you have falsified quotes that any serious journalist would have vetted. Of course that speaks loudly about the state of journalism.

October 15, 2009

A case of libel.

How to smear someone due to their political beliefs.

Enthusiam timorous

Connor had a fever. With a bit of debate I opted to stay home with him. Regular monitoring of his temperature, keep him warm and quiet. Also get plenty of liquids.

I was able to set up a routine with the thermometer, we have the old classic glass with mercury model. Showing him how to get it under his tongue, then keep it there until the timer beeps was interesting. After the first time and setting up the routine the rest was pretty easy. We have an old office chair with dirty mustard colored faux leather coverings. On telling him it was time to take his temperature, he would dutifully sit on that chair and hold the thermometer in place while I set the timer. The duration of metering was punctuated by giggles on his part. Followed by a fever reducer and more liquids.

We have found sports drinks to be pretty good hydration when our kids are un-well. As Connor was set up on the couch with cartoons playing, I exercised his our newfound skill set of leaving him alone for short periods of time. When working with an autistic child you have to realize that they do not catch on to life lessons obliquely. That is to say, he has not been exposed to enough situations to know how to properly react. For example, "home fire drills."

As a good custodian of your family having a plan in place for what to do in case of a fire and were to meet afterwards can save the lives of young kids. Now consider that the concept of the house on fire is very difficult to convey. This can trigger a lot of fear in the sense, Connor could either understand that this COULD happen versus it WILL happen. So suddenly this place he feels safe is now a source of anxiety. If the exercise is not handled correctly.

So, I headed down to the nearby store and bought some sports drinks for Connor. The round trip is about three miles with a total travel time of five minutes, add to that another ten to get into the store, pick up the items and buy them. I figure ten to fifteen minutes passed in total.

Upon arriving home, I see Connors beaming face through the kitchen window. I also note the stove is on, which increases my heart rate. He has never turned the stove on before...

Getting inside I observe he has set up everything needed to make some Box Macaroni and Cheese. Also, he is quite proud and stated that he was going making the food. He had the right size pan and it was filled with the correct amount of water. He turned on the right burner as well (something I have an occasional issue with). So now comes the quandary. Do I chastise him for daring to cook food, or do I point out how to be safe when cooking Mac?

I decided that teaching would be the best route and was quickly overwhelmed at the number of factors that are just taken for granted. Trying to cover everything and insure comprehension is nigh impossible. Looks like there is lots of repetition of safe cooking Mac in my future.

October 12, 2009

Just so ya know

rac·ism
Function: noun
Date: 1933
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.


October 10, 2009

What happened to global warming?

By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on?

Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man's influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming.

They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. But what is the evidence for this?

During the last few decades of the 20th Century, our planet did warm quickly.

Sceptics argue that the warming we observed was down to the energy from the Sun increasing. After all 98% of the Earth's warmth comes from the Sun.

But research conducted two years ago, and published by the Royal Society, seemed to rule out solar influences.

The scientists' main approach was simple: to look at solar output and cosmic ray intensity over the last 30-40 years, and compare those trends with the graph for global average surface temperature.

And the results were clear. "Warming in the last 20 to 40 years can't have been caused by solar activity," said Dr Piers Forster from Leeds University, a leading contributor to this year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees.

He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.

He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.

If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.

Ocean cycles

What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores.

In the last few years [the Pacific Ocean] has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down

According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated.

The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).

For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.

These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.

So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.

Professor Easterbrook says: "The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling."

So what does it all mean? Climate change sceptics argue that this is evidence that they have been right all along.

They say there are so many other natural causes for warming and cooling, that even if man is warming the planet, it is a small part compared with nature.

But those scientists who are equally passionate about man's influence on global warming argue that their science is solid.

The UK Met Office's Hadley Centre, responsible for future climate predictions, says it incorporates solar variation and ocean cycles into its climate models, and that they are nothing new.

In fact, the centre says they are just two of the whole host of known factors that influence global temperatures - all of which are accounted for by its models.

In addition, say Met Office scientists, temperatures have never increased in a straight line, and there will always be periods of slower warming, or even temporary cooling.

What is crucial, they say, is the long-term trend in global temperatures. And that, according to the Met office data, is clearly up.

To confuse the issue even further, last month Mojib Latif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.

Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climate modellers.

But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.

So what can we expect in the next few years?

Both sides have very different forecasts. The Met Office says that warming is set to resume quickly and strongly.

It predicts that from 2010 to 2015 at least half the years will be hotter than the current hottest year on record (1998).

Sceptics disagree. They insist it is unlikely that temperatures will reach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It is possible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period of global cooling is more likely.

One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say it is hotting up.

Source:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm

And the Media responds!

• National Review: A Fitting Prize, in a Way

October 09, 2009

Upsetting flustration

I am in a better today. The healing wonders of a so-so night sleep. Actually, I was in a good mood yesterday, not jumping cloud to cloud, frolicking with unicorns mind you. It was a fairly even mood with happy anticipation of my TOPS meeting followed by a night out.

This did not pan out as the following events put me into the funk, that I am now recovering from.

My humor is vast, I find almost all things in life amusing. Over the years I have learned the need to self censor, I have not always followed through though. The longer people have known me the more irreverent my swagger. Rarely has this caused me grief.

Sitting around our meeting there is usually some banter, gossip, gallows humor and off color remarks. All with a certain degree of decorum. The topic of discussion had traveled to a parcel of land in town that would require some major work to become useful, six foot of toxic soil removal to be specific. I casually joked to make a prison there, which got the usual chuckles. One of those laughing then recanted stating that most people in prison are there illegally. Further a relative of hers was incarcerated even though she did nothing wrong.

I had any number of responses, but decided that I had wandered into a bad place so I awkwardly quieted down and decided to wait the ongoing rant to subside. I am still not certain this was the correct action. The person continued on about the shortcomings of the judicial system, how her relative had plead no contest, to spare herself another trial. How she had been maneuvered by her spouse into meth use. Then swerved into how accusation of victimizing children are condemned prior to any trial. Interspersed was accusations of my naive view of an unjust world. To which I just sat, verbally non-responsive. My mind was busy with suggestions...

Finally the subject change. I waited a few moments, gathered my things and left. I was upset or rather, I had allowed myself to become upset. Obviously, I had said something upsetting and received my comeuppance. Nevertheless, there was little justification for the rancor I felt had been heaped upon me. Being offended is a choice. This called for some walking.

There is a sinking feeling when an illusion of comfort is shattered. A sense of loss, even betrayal, a desire to avoid that place. There are feelings of outrage, guilt and disillusionment. In general I do not like upsetting people, likewise I do not want to be upset.

I do find writing helps me organize my thoughts though.

October 08, 2009

Beware the Fairy of the Teeth!

Connor has been loosing baby teeth, as expected. What is unexpected is the lack of parental participation in dentile extraction or agglomeration. Typically when your offspring loose teeth the tradition is to place said tooth under a pillow for a nocturnal visit of fairy folk who bring compensation. We rarely find any of Connors teeth, As often the case with Connor. He has his own path.

It was hot dog and Beans night. Connor was enjoying his hot dog when he stopped and spit out a tooth. He had quite a few things to say about the tooth and blood (small little bits). He had to hold it in his hand a few times. Finally he went back to eating.

Tina, was happy to finally have one of his teeth in hand. She had a little zip-lock holder and later that evening showed it to Connor. Offering the tradition of putting it under his pillow.

To which Connor responded "Put the Tooth in the trash Mom. No Fairy!"

It seems as though the late evening activity of fictional beings has an unnerving effect on our little guy. In retrospect I cannot say I disapprove, it actually seems quite prudent.

Autistic kids can be pragmatic.

Calorie information might not influence fast food choices

Calorie information might not influence fast food choices

Lesson in well intentioned interference by the government not yielding any results. Do not get me wrong, I like being able to look up nutritional information.

I tend to avoid places that do not allow me to check them out (especially when I am on a goal to get my weight down). Making an informed choice is a good thing.

Obesity is a problem. Is it a government problem? Is there a government solution? With the government take over of Health Care, you can bet they are going to exert all the control they can. Already we see regulation after regulation on how to make food. Talk about taxing certain "bad" products to stop consumption. Imagine what was done to smoking, but on food choices.

Results never seem to matter with Government. The effort to do "whats right", regardless of the outcome, regardless of what freedoms are lost, regardless of the Damage.

All comes back to the horrid excuse of humanity: "I only had the best of intentions"

October 07, 2009

Ponderance

If extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, then where is the extraordinary evidence that matter could be ex nihilo - out of nothing.

October 06, 2009

Acai Berry: Miracle weight-loss fruit or big fat scam?

Scam!

Oh it does have some good stuff, great nutritional value, Like most berries, acai is rich in antioxidants, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

It also contains phytochemicals and flavonoids, which may help prevent certain cancers.

"There is no competent scientific research that demonstrates any of the claimed effects of Acai berry, including weight loss, detoxification and increased energy and vitality," -- Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Caveat Emptor

Government run health care (*again*)

One of the arguments FOR the public option is the insurance companies rejecting claims. Said public option would somehow be better.

Beverly Gossage, Research Fellow for Show-Me Institute and founder of HSA Benefits Consulting wondered which insurance companies rejected the most claims. She found her answer in the AMA’s own 2008 National Health Insurer Report Card. Well now this is interesting

The Medicare denial rate found in the study was roughly 1.7 times that of all of the private carriers combined.


You would think Medicare's sheer size might enable it to have smoother procedures with its providers that would enable it to turn down a lower percentage of claims.

Why should Americans accept the idea of a government-run system when, based on documented government experience, they will be more likely to see their claims denied?

Lest we forget almost every state run system has refusals to treat in the first place! Which is currently against the law in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S.

Of Moose and Men

It appears I have a tendency to overdo the exercise bit. I had ended up with a number of minor injuries earlier this year that slapped me in the face reality wise (Yo, Lee dis is yer body. Think your a youngster or sumptin?)

So I put aside thoughts of going out on a ride again today. Even though I feel pretty good my legs are a little sore and is my neck.

My diet Guru Jack says this is a rebuilding project. Not unlike rebuilding a car. So I am wrestling my needs and wants.

October 05, 2009

How to paladin XXXV! More of the Greatest Paladin ever to... (thinking).

Ridin' de bike mon!

This AM I opted to go on a bike ride. I have a goal in the back of my mind for riding up to Eugene. So this was the start of that, if you will. It was cloudy and cold but not threatening. The weather appeared to be cooperating. Dressing for success I went with the sweats with windbreakers and my handy gloves. I had a backpack in case I needed less layers. I filled a flagon of H20 and loaded the bike into the van. My route was pretty simple, start at Tinas work and ride home. I like the concept of going home better then a destination as it seems more relaxing at the end.

The drive was quick enough, we kissed goodbye and I mounted up. Immediately my eyes must have gotten very sad, as the tear ducts started flowing. This was followed by my nose. I made sure I was not crying with a quick mental check and continued onwards. I abated the flow of mucus from said nostrils by circling my breathing. In through the nose out through the mouth. This produces an amusing amount of steam. It was 42 degrees, so thats to be expected. Soon my various body parts figured out crying was no good and they settled down to a less embarrassing, internally containable flow.

My scientific mind would attribute the change in environment from the warm car to the cold air required biological adjustments, and as my body preformed them that particular function was running as required.

The town of Sutherlin quickly vanished as I rode past houses with increasingly sized yards in various states of tidiness. There was one sculptured lawn that gave me some mental notes for my own wild overgrowth. Soon I was on the lonely highway. Just me my bike and those few vehicles. I was actually moving along more quickly then I had considered. I was keeping a good 16 mph pace. At the 15 minute mark I stopped and drank some water, as I understand hydration is very important.

The hills were not difficult but they did require some effort and reduction in gearing. As I have not a clue what the shifting is supposed to be (as I am sure there are a multitude of opinions and facts on the subject) I kept the left gear on 2 (options being 1, 2, 3) and the right gear on 6 (options being 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). For the hill I dropped down to 4 and on the flats got back up to 6. My MPH suffered a bit. The all to brief downhill did not play too much of a part in the entire trip.

Near our community collage is the bigger hill. At the top is a rural fire station. This gave me pause to drink more fluid. In anticipation of the next hurdle. The Umpqua bridge. This is a narrow two lane bridge that Trevor had much angst about the crossing. He recounted there being a near impossible turn, I myself was unsure of the height of the siderails, the thought of having a mishap over the edge was a minor consideration, but a consideration nonetheless.

As it turns out the rail was high enough, the sidewalk was single file narrow but ample for a deliberate rider. The turn at the end was easy to ignore with a bunny hop back to the pavement. This took me into the town of Winchester (don't blink!). I pit stopped for some calorie intake and found my legs stiffened up. Not sure if that was a good or bad idea, sitting there like that.

Back on the bike I started the gradual climb into Roseburg. I opted to have ear coverings, I hate when my ears get really cold. With the humidity in the air and the colder temperature they would have been aching. My toes got cold through my shoes. I have considered getting bike shoes that lock into the peddles. I need to make sure they are not vented in the front. Along the zipper of my jacket I noticed the cold creeping inwards.

All in all nothing uncomfortable or unmanageable as I crossed into the annexed city line. In hindsight I should have continued my 15min ride couple min break. but, I forgot.

As I headed down the last stretch I got fatigue. I geared down to my hill climbing 4 and still was having a tougher time riding. This was VERY noticeable, as I ride this way to and from work and I do so at a very brisk pace. It was then that my mind kicked me and said (DRINK DUMMY).

I stopped in front of the former nudie bar and finished off my liquid. It is astonishing how much that little break helped. I was in better form and even made the climb back up to my driveway.

Trip was 15.12 miles taking 1:08:13. This puts me around 15 mph (which is above goal! yeah me!). I burned around 890 calories.

So now for Ibuprofen, water and not moving all that much for recovery. My abductors felt thrashed and the connecting tissue on the right outer thigh (medial collateral ligament?) seems a bit distressed. Oddest of all my sternocleidomastoid muscle (left side back of neck from behind the ear down to the shoulder), is stiffer. I guess it is from bearing body weight from the handle bars. Not sure.

Good first ride!

October 02, 2009

My latest favorite pop song.



I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night (x3)
Tonight’s the night night
Let’s live it up
I got my money
Let’s spend it up
Go out and smash it
Like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa
Let’s get get OFF
I know that we’ll have a ball
If we get down
And go out
And just loose it all
I feel stressed out
I wanna let it go
Lets go way out spaced out
And loosing all control
Fill up my cup
Mozoltov
Look at her dancing
Just take it off
Lets paint the town
We’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof
And then we’ll do it again

Lets Do it (x3)
And live it up
I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good good night (x2)
Tonight’s the night
Let’s live it up
I got my money
Lets spend it up
Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling lyrics found on http://www.directlyrics.com/black-eyed-peas-i-gotta-feeling-lyrics.html
Go out and smash it
Like Oh My God
Jump off that sofa
Lets get get OFF
Fill up my cup (Drink)
Mozolotov (Lahyme)
Look at her dancing (Move it Move it)
Just take it off
Lets paint the town
We’ll shut it down
Lets burn the roof
And then we’ll do it again
Lets do it (x3)
Let’s live it up
Here we come
Here we go
We gotta rock
Easy come
Easy go
Now we on top
Feel the shot
Body rock
Rock it don’t stop
Round and round
Up and down
Around the clock
Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, Saturday,
Saturday and Sunday
Get get get get get
With us you know what we say
Party everyday p-p-p-party
Party everyday
I gotta feeling that tonight gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good good night

Where in I discuss my thighs.

My T-shirts.... *snif* my T-shirts are much to big. They have a good 12 inches of girth around them. That means they are destined for the rag pile before their time. Sad really, few things are better in life then donning a soft, comfortable, T-shirt after a good days work.

It is one of those I-lost-weight-observations that I had not considered prior to said observation occurring. Odd that...

Previously I observed my fat head, now my old hats fit without inducing a migraine. Also, it takes a substantial change to notice you "feel better" and that is a mental, not physical state. Also, riding a bike sans 60+ lbs is much more fun.

My river sandals no longer fit tight. I would be out of pants if not for my buddy Jack who lost weight as well, sent me a care package of his "fat clothes" (he went from 210 to 148).

I think my hockey roller skates will fit again. Need to test that theory out.

My shirts that fit are now being confused with my son Trevor's on laundry day.

People only give you compliments to a certain weight, then they start cautioning you. It goes from "Wow, your looking good!" to "Your wasting away."

Then the oddest observation yet thus far. Leg hair. To be specific inner thigh leg hair.

At a certain point the fatty deposits around the upper thighs can lead to a "meeting in the middle." This provides a near constant friction that will lop off the hairs at skin level. It can also lead to chaffing and other unpleasant details I opt not to elucidate upon.

Lo and behold while doing a biological function on a porcelain decedent of John Crappers lifestyle changer. I made note of a hirsute addition to my previously shorn abductors.

I pondered for a moment, as one does. Finally coming to the aforementioned conclusion.

This overall event left me both curious and fearful of what will be next.

October 01, 2009

Adventures in Media Bias



What makes for Bad news and or Good news about the recession (depression?). It only matters who is in the White House. If its a Democrat look for the bad news to be shed in the most positive of light! If it is a Republican, it is all bad and going to get worse!

Unemployment is currently at a 26-year-high of 9.7 percent and expected to continue rising. The last president to govern with such high unemployment was President Ronald Reagan.

But in 1982, when unemployment was rising similarly to the way it has in 2009 the network news media were merciless quoting attacks from Democrats, union leaders and the unemployed to attack Reagan's "sadistic" fiscal policies.

2009 was a different story, for a different president. Even though unemployment has shot up from 8.1 percent since February, network reporters looked for "hopeful signs" of an economic turnaround in their jobs report.


It is really no wonder that the viewer ship of several seemingly state run media outlets has fallen?

Something about WiFi

Wi-Fi - A brand name developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure compatibility among products which communicate data wireless via the IEEE 802.11 Standard. It is not an acronym.

or

"Wi-Fi" Means your wireless data device that conforms to the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) standard number 802.11 can work at that location. Note: the use of the word 'can' in that last sentence.

The library in which I work has free wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi). We regularly have several patrons taking advantage of this service. Every so often we have patrons with a lack of understanding about how Wi-Fi works and the inability to accept possibilities. For example...

One of our Reference desk people called up the tech department to let us know the Wi-Fi was not working. As we started drilling down to find the "real" issue (which is something you just need to do with technical issues). We found something amiss and headed out to the floor to confirm.

The patrons Laptop was not connecting to the Internet and not seeing the Wi-Fi signal (nor the signal from the Tavern across the street). Further, several other patrons were busy doing Myspace, watching You Tube and playing games over the Internet, via the Wi-Fi connection.

Wi-Fi is a radio signal, it beams from a device called an Access Point, which both receives and transmits. This radio wave goes out in a circular pattern and depending upon certain obstacles has a range in the hundreds of feet. If you are in this "circle" your computer should see the signal identifier and be able to connect to the signal in some fashion. If the laptop to your left and laptop to your right are connected, you can deduce you are indeed in range and the issue is not the Access point. Logical so far?

Informing the patron that the problem appears to be with her computer was taken personally...

"Okay, we do have a strong signal going and several people are online without any issue. I wonder if your wifi device is turned off?"

"No, its not turned off. I come here all the time and my laptop connects perfectly! You need to fix your Internet."

"The Internet is working for all these other people, could I possibly take a look at your system? Maybe I could see something?"

"No, I do not want you touching my computer! It works every time I come here, the problem has to be with YOUR Internet!"

"I am sorry ma'am but there isn't anything I can do on our side to connect your computer. It could be your wireless is not working for some reason. I would be more then happy to look on your Laptop."

"It is not my laptop, it is working fine. For some reason I think you have blocked me"

"Nothing else I can do here then. I am sorry"

"So you are refusing to fix your Internet?"

"It is working fine, otherwise the other patrons would not be able to connect"

"I do not know why your Internet has blocked my computer, but this just is not right!"

"Again, I am sorry ma'am. I am willing to check your computer, but that would be your call"


And I backed away slowly...