Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The LA Times reports that taxes on unhealthy foods may be on the horizon, put in place to combat obesity, obesity-related co-morbidities, and to pay for universal health care. The report cites a study released that looks at obesity policies gained from the tobacco war experiences.

Taxing fatty foods is a pretty narrow policy and does little to adequately combat obesity, which is, in this fat boy's mind, a serious problem of epidemic proportions. Projections state that our life expectancy is going down.

A comprehensive plan should include:
  • Insurance-covered, physician-monitored weight loss programs paid for by insurance.
  • Insurance-covered mental health services to deal with overeating issues.
  • Seeing overeating as an addiction and treating it as such.
  • Weight loss surgery approved after physician-monitored weight loss programs become inadequate.
  • Making healthy food affordable.

Putting the fork down is not enough. Many people do not understand that overeating is an addiction and is a very powerful one. Talking with a professional counselor specializing in food addiction makes a significant difference. It did with me and the techniques for combating overeating are amazingly simple. It's not a head shrink or delve-into-your-past kind of counseling session, by the way.

Taxing sodas, Ding Dongs, Ho-Hos, McGarbage, Taco Death, and other fast food restaurants would also help. I'm okay with that. We shouldn't make it easy for big companies to hook people on addictive foods and keep them addicted. If you have ever bought only healthy food, you know what your food bill looks like. It's high. I know because I buy a lot of produce, organic foods, and no sugar foods.

I also stopped drinking soda, which was an easy fix for me, but it is not easy for everyone. Caffeine is also addictive. For many folks, not drinking soda can make a significant weight loss change. I only drank diet and not much of that, but I've quit diet, too. Plain iced tea, water and skim milk make up the bulk of my liquids. I also exercise 30-40 minutes three times a week.

It would also be nice if the corn industry did not promote high fructose corn syrup as a healthy food source. Judas Priest!


The great philosopher's have asked the "absolute truth" question for thousands of years. I don't expect to write anything prophetic on the subject here. I merely attempt to give my own perspective as it stands at 1:18 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29. My ideas continue to evolve as I reflect internally and discuss externally and so this writing only stands true at this moment in time. I cannot predict how my thoughts will evolve in the next few minutes, or the next few decades.

I used to believe in absolute truth. That there was, somewhere out there, the perfect answer to every question; absolute right and absolute wrong; black and white realities, universal truths that will always stand. I suppose I haven't really abandoned that thought, but I am shedding my dogmatic beliefs in art, truth, and God. That is to say, I am not convinced that humans have reached a point where we can identify those absolute truths.

This all started with a discussion about Bob Ross. Over the weekend, some friends and I sat around my porch and talked about the definition of art and if Bob Ross was an artist, a hack, or a merely a participant in craft. Is there such a thing as a concrete definition of art? My boiled down answer was this:

Art cannot be defined so clearly. We can determine characteristics of great art, but that true art is really defined by the individual and not the establishment. Something like that.

My friend Paul argued that art must be transformative and have a message and that art is also defined by the intention of the artist. He also believes the notion that there is absolute truth and that we can discover it.

I think there may be absolute truth out there, but that we really have no way to discover it as a society. We can merely find our own personal truth. I think what is true for me may not be true for you, and that we can look upon the same scene, same issue, or same circumstance and come to different conclusions.

For Christians, we look to God and the Bible for guidance and inspiration and for our path. However, it is clear that even within the Christian belief system, there are drastically different paths and approaches to God. Some are minor and some are significant. Sometimes what I deem a minor and inconsequential detail is a significant and defining criteria for Christians.

An example includes my grandmother and her church. Her denomination believes that communion must be taken every Sunday and that everyone must drink from a single cup. My church takes communion every Sunday but we use individual cups. My childhood Baptist church only took communion at Christmas and Easter (as best I recall). For me, the procedure is inconsequential. For my grandmother's church, it means the difference between salvation and eternal flames.

For some all abortions are always wrong, regardless of the situation. For others, there are some circumstances where abortions are permitted, but they are rare. Still others find that abortions are always a personal choice of the individual.

The truth depends on an individual's point of view, history, and belief system. If one approaches the situation from a literal biblical perspective, then one might argue that the Bible is the absolute truth. That's merely a person's opinion and it is not, as of yet anyway, an arguable fact. applicable to all persons. It is a belief. Perhaps it is true and perhaps it is not. We really don't know for sure beyond what our conscience and belief system tell us.

If there is absolute truth, then I don't think it is possible for our society to discover that truth. Part of me is contemplating the idea that there are multiple ways to seek and find truth or God or both, and that different approaches may all be acceptable so long as one follows his or her own true path.


There was a packed house (according to this report) at the HEROES panel at Comicon. The freakshow will continue for another season, this time with our favorite characters getting a chance to settle down and try to figure out what a normal life is all about. New characters from a carnival will show up. Claire will be in college, doing what we dream co-eds doing.

Sounds interesting. Now that I have season two down and have started three, I'm hoping to finish before the start of the next season. I have to get to work this last week. I'll let you know how it goes. With lots of TV watching, I will have to carve out time to get in my daily exercise otherwise the fat doctor will chastise me.

Gosh, I guess I should read, too. Reading is fundamental, don't you know.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Tonight, we went out to eat with grandma. I ate half: half of the fajita burrito, half of the chips, half of the rice, half of the beans. I even ate only half of the chips. I was still hungry when I quit, but I waited and soon my belly told my brain that it was full. By the time I left I felt full, almost too full if you can imagine that. I can barely imagine it myself.

The weight loss program I am in is a lot of work, takes a lot of time, requires a lot of energy, but I think it is paying off. I lost two more pounds last week. It's slow enough but I can see progress although it feels like a grudge match some of the time. Tonight was easy.

I'm even wondering if I could have eaten less than I did. I think eating half may have been too much, but I will cross that burning bridge another day. For now, I will celebrate my eating half.


We've made attempts to grow gardens before, with disappointing results. I'd almost given up hope for my thumb. Then the wife found the Earthbox. Our onions did terrible, all but one dead, but all is not lost. The peppers are doing fine as are the cucumbers, squash and cantaloupe. I don't think we've recouped the money we spent, like many claim, but we have had fresh, organic produce.

The summer isn't over yet, either. I'm hoping it really gets going soon, exploding with fruit. The squash, cucumbers and cantaloupe have blossoms a plenty so I anticipate some good eating very soon. I did notice our first cantalope today. It's a cute little guy, about the size of a Nerf baseball.

If it all works out well, I may purchase more Earthboxes next year and plant me some maters. I have decided to forget the poblano peppers from now on. It's easier to buy them in the store. I'll replace them with more red, yellow or orange bell peppers.


According to Kathleen O'Dell's story in the Springfield News-Leader, Cox Hospital is kicking in it's most aggressive anti-smoking policies to date. Here is the breakdown as I understand them:

  • Employees are banned from smoking within 500 feet of all Cox facilities during shifts and lunch breaks. This includes banned smoking on property not owned by Cox.
  • Employees are banned from tobacco use anywhere (on duty or not) when wearing an official hospital badge, uniform, or any other clothing provided by Cox.
  • Employees with who stink of smoke (clothing, hair, etc.) will be may be sent home on their own time to change.
  • The disciplinary action will be progressive but can end in termination.

That is serious policy. In my mind, I cannot see how Cox can dictate to employees what they can do on their own time or when off hospital property. Although public schools utilize similar practices and teachers have lost their jobs for acts done at home or in public. It's basically a professional behavior clause written into the contracts.

I haven't decided how I feel about the "while in uniform" policies. That might be more enforceable as the employees are representing the hospital in some capacity.

I do think the hospital is on solid ground with its odor policy. Odor allergies are becoming very common and some places are starting to ban colognes, perfumes, and other strong smells. Be it body odor, perfume or cigarette smoke, patients should not be forced to pay to endure others' stinky smells. If I were the hospital I would specifically write the policy to include any offensive odors, not just cigarette smoke.

I do believe that people have the right to chose smoking. It's not healthy or smart, but neither is being fat. However, I do not think that smokers have the right to expose the general public to their smoking habits as that second hand and third hand smoke does affect the health of others.

Monday, July 27, 2009


We hosted a trebuchet weekend at our home. Our college friends, most of whom have elementary-aged children, got together Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. The menfolk took the children and stayed at our home for LORD OF THE FLINGS. (The ladies had a girl's night out. They took some kind of dance instruction.)

The fellers along with the kids (two girls and two boys) built miniature medieval siege weapons – trebuchets and catapults – and fired them into the next door neighbor's yard. Huzzah! It was great fun.

The catapult my daughter and I built.

Each child had an adult mentor. My daughter and I built a trebuchet, but it didn't work too well. Our catapult, on the other hand, was dynamite: powerful, fast and it shot wicked far. Smoke bombs are really fun to shoot.

We instructed the children – nay, we warned them – not to walk in front of the weapons, not to enter the war field when it was hot, and not to lean your face over a cocked and loaded machine. Lesson was well learned when one of the boys put his face over the thing then pulled the trigger.

We figured out a new way to knock out an already loose baby tooth. I told him to quit spitting and let the blood pool in his mouth so I could take pictures just for his mother-the-nurse. I'm a dandy like that.

He wasn't hurt, by the way. Didn't shed a tear.
The miniatures don't really shoot hard at all.

We also read a lot of comic books and ate out twice. Then on Sunday the men-children met up with the mothers at the Close Memorial Park to see the butterfly exhibit, which is really fascinating and free. Oh yeah, we also made boffers swords and fought each other. The kids really liked that.

All in all, it was a really fun weekend, but I was tired afterwards. I think the adults enjoyed the time as much as the kids. I know I did.

Two of us purchased our trebuchet kits from They worked very well and were not too expensive.


I accept, as my responsibility, 90% of the household chores in the summer; however, after this weekend I am completely and utterly disengaged in the process of cleanliness. I am more interested in watching HEROES.

The television series, HEROES, is one of my favorite shows. I was able to watch most episodes during the first season but college got in the way of seasons two and three. No way; no how. I have indulged myself this summer. I have finished season one (23 hour-long episodes) and have started season two (11 hour-long episodes because of the writer's strike I think).

Somehow the wife and daughter seem to think that clean floors, washed dished and hot food is also a priority. [sigh] I don't think I am going to change their minds so I should quit blogging and get to it, but I am not inclined to do so.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


For our first summer together, the daughter and I chose to watch the entire AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER series from Nickelodeon. Consistently, the series has gotten better by growing and developing into a fully realized cartoon series.

AVATAR is, in our opinion, simply the best cartoon series for kids ever made. I loved G.I. JOE and THE TRANSFORMERS as a kid, as well as SUPER FRIENDS and other comic stories. However, AVATAR is, from a writing standpoint, far superior to these cult cartoons. The characters are developed, the story lines interconnected, rich with detail, and they [gasp] make sense. Good lucking finding all of those qualities in any cartoon series designed for children and teens.

The story is relevant today and ripe with strong male and female characters (on the good and bad sides). Characters transform throughout the series, gathering wisdom and understanding regardless of the peril it may bring them. It is amazing to me that a children’s show is so complex and deep.

The characters often struggle with right and wrong, between fight and flight, family and destiny. We see them (good and bad characters) struggle with discovering who they are and working to find their own path through life. It is intense and painful at times, but it is a good story for children and adults.

I would go on and on, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the three-season series. Forget about renting it from any brick and mortar store in Springfield. Most don’t carry it and those that do only carry disc one of season one. Netflix, on the other hand, has available every disc of all three seasons – the first season is open for streaming to your computer or television.

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER is absolutely outstanding and is worthy of the numerous awards it has been nominated for and won. There is a live action movie coming out but the more I have learned about it, the more disappointed I have become. First, they have scrubbed the cultural diversity from the film, making the characters all white, rather than their intended cultures. Secondly, the creators of the series are not involved. I’m not holding my breath.

Avatar on Wikipedia

Friday, July 24, 2009


Thanks to an alert Jack operative, I was pointed to some places that rationally support Obama's health care reform bill. I trust the American Medical Association over radio and television entertainment personalities.

Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor from the AMA
I’d like to share the American Medical Association’s rationale for supporting the House health-care bill (“What’s Up Docs?,” Review & Outlook, July 20). Without a bill that can pass the House, there will be no health reform this year. The House bill is an important starting point. The AMA will stay engaged to improve the final bill for patients and physicians.

Reform of the broken Medicare physician payment formula is necessary to assure long-term access to care for seniors, and its inclusion in the House bill is a huge victory for Medicare patients and their physicians. Its inclusion is one of many reasons the AMA supports the bill. It also establishes a health insurance exchange that would provide a choice of plans to the uninsured, self-insured and small business employees, with voluntary physician participation.

The AMA is committed to achieving health reform this year that will provide all Americans with affordable, high-quality health care. The House bill helps achieve this by extending health-insurance coverage to nearly all Americans and eliminates coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions.

Our position at the center of the health-reform debate is an honor and a serious responsibility. Maintaining the status quo is not an option. The AMA will stay engaged to get meaningful health reform that benefits patients and physicians signed into law this year.

J. James Rohack, MD
American Medical Association President, Chicago

Unfortunately, this letter does not really address the more detailed questions that the opponents have brought up. However, this AMA FAQ for H.R. 3200 is much more detailed and quite helpful. Here are some goodies from it:

Question 1: I have heard that as many at 120 million people will be enrolled in the new public option health plan. Is that true?
AMA Answer 1: No. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the bill will ensure that 97% of the legal, non-elderly population will have health insurance. At most, 12 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, representing only about 4% of the entire population. Overall, 37 million uninsured Americans will have health insurance coverage who do not have it now.

Question 2: Won't employers simply drop coverage?
AMA Answer 2: Again, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that from 2010 until 2019, the number of Americans with employer provided coverage will increase from 150 million to 162 million people. Additionally, for those Americans who purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange, two-thirds (or 20 million people) will choose private plans. This means a significant increase in the number of American's insured by private insurance plans.

The pdf also addresses rumors such as this health care reform makes insurance illegal, which is erroneous. I need more, especially from those who are opposed and not just because it is Obama's plan. Perhaps an unbiased reader will send us some reputable information from a reputable source regarding the oppositions' side of the issue.

I have heard that public funds will be spent on abortion and that is bound to really cause serious stumbling blocks for some people who would otherwise support national health care. I am sympathetic to that plight. I think that argument is legitimate if it, indeed, proves to be true.


Although I find some of his remarks rather interesting, I wish Charles Hedrick and all those who respond to him, would just leave the opinions page alone. I'm tired of the private little feud they are having about religion. Let's talk about authentic issues (not theological ones).

I would like to see more thoughtful, reflective letters. I would like to hear from someone with concrete reasons and documented examples of why Obama's plan won't work or how it will really affect us so badly. I'd like to see the same from someone who can explain exactly how his bill will really work.

Enough condescending letters or rehashed talking points from political nobodies. I want to hear more from the Congressional Budget Office and from the American Medical Association. I haven't heard anything substantial beyond some blogger's rants and restating of Coulter, Mancow or Rush. Thanks, but I'd rather hear more reporting on the health care bill than just getting it from Obama. It's his plan so he's going to put the best foot forward.

Did I miss this great reporting? If so, tell me about it. I would like to know more from serious and unbiased sources. Is this really too much to ask?


It is slow-going, this weight loss business, but I am keeping my nose to the grindstone. Which reminds me, I need to log my food intake for the day and also get some exercise in. Lost two more pounds at my last weigh in.


A family in (you guessed it) Texas posted a sign above their door that reportedly captures their disdain for the illegal immigration problem, and it is a problem. The sign reads:


This family really isn't protesting illegal immigration at all, even though that is what they claim. The Texas family is really prompting their hatred of all persons of Hispanic descent, regardless of those persons's citizenship status. There are plenty of legal Hispanic citizens, American-born citizens of Hispanic descent, and green-card carrying Hispanic immigrants. There are also plenty of lighter-skinned illegal immigrants from outher countries, but the family doesn't put a sign up about that.

This is not about illegal immigration. It is about anger toward those with Mexican blood.

I wish the family would chose to take it down, although I don't think law enforcement should get involved. I do think the commnity has a right to respond so long as it is non violent.

What I really wish is that people were not so filled with anger, hate and discrimination toward people based on their lineage. It's silly.

I can't help it, but I always wonder then are these folks also born again? I've heard it quoted that 80 percent of the US population is Christian.

Keystroke to News2K for he posted it first.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm not fond of the all too common dysfunctional derbies that pit poor person against poor person in a race to see who can garner the most pity from television producers and the populous. I don't see that as contributing to a healthy life too much.

That's right, I am criticizing Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – a post that is spurred on by a local family who is the newest recipient of the show.

My first thought is that this is a family of two adults and six children living in an 800-square foot home. If a family can barely afford an apartment-sized home, how in the world can they begin to afford a luxury 3,300 square foot McMansion? The taxes alone are going to be astronomical compared to what they were. What about maintenance, utilities and insurance?

Is this really a problem for other recipients? I went to the tubes to find out and my suspicion was correct. Other families have lost their homes.

Wall Street Journal story 1
This family saw a 50% increase in their taxes and is facing possible foreclosure.

Wall Street Journal story 2
This woman received a 7,000 square foot home, but it was riddled with numerous code violations. Therefore the city slapped her with a $29,000 lien.

Wall Street Journal story 3
Kentucky family tries to sell 3,300 square foot, $339,900 home. The show only paid the family's existing second mortgage to pay for their adopted son. Medical bills and higher taxes and insurance force a sale.

This family faces foreclosure on a now $450,000 home.

Certainly there is a personal responsibility here on the part of the families. Some of them get a second mortgage to pay for medical bills or a failing business and that can lead to trouble. However, just like banks which should not give out high loans to people who can't afford it, neither should this show give poor and struggling families homes they are utterly unable to financially support. It's setting people up for failure.

It's like giving a family a new HD television, computer and internet service for a year when they don't have indoor plumbing and are facing astronomical medical bills for a child with Autism. It's great, but it doesn't really solve their troubles.

What's wrong with a modest home rather than a McMansion? Why not provide nice accommodations, use the rest of the money to pay all of the family's debts (not just some) and get the family financial counseling? It wouldn't make for such an exciting show, that's why, but it would be a better gift.

I'm happy for the family in Bois D'Arc. I hope they make it and keep the home forever. It is a wonderful gift, but I am concerned about the family's ability to keep this home and the show's tendency to promote pity.

We don't need another Jerry Lewis.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Can you say "dark comedy"?

HOW TO BE A SERIAL KILLER tells the tale of Mike Wilson, a teacher of all things deathly. Together with his apprentice, he instructs us on the basics of killing a lot of people. What's included? How about such topics as: theories on corpse disposal, balancing work and play, practical methods of killing, and planning a getaway.

The trailer makes the movie look like one bloody good film. On July 24 (that's this week) embrace your dark comedian and give it a look-see. I've gotta see this one. Off to the Netflix queue.


I offer you a series of funnies from I love this site and always get a good chuckle when I need one.


Desdinova pointed me to a piece in our local paper regarding race. Sharon Lee Archer of Springfield laments the News-Leader's inability to find white faces to photograph. She's tired, you see, of all the Negros in the paper. She's not a fan of diversity, don't you know. Who here is willing to bet she is also a born again Christian? Just a guess.

That is one thing I really dislike about my annual motorcycle ride to Kentucky. Every year I see T-shirts and hear talk about the n-words doing this and the n-words doing that. It's constant and I am always a bit surprised at the ignorance. I always look forward to coming home and getting away from that. Then there's Ms. Archer. Me thinks she might look into joining crazy Fred Phelps' church of hate and discontent.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Today was my daughter's first day at her two-week drama camp (as if she needs lessons in drama). She came home beat, which is just how it should be. Keep em moving and grooving, says I. Tomorrow we find out what part she gets to play then we practice, practice, practice. She's also taking guitar lessons (by DVD right now but hopefully from a real live teacher this fall).


I put exactly 900 miles – house-to-hotel – on the motorcycle this weekend (Thursday-Sunday). It was a good time, but things are starting to change at the rally. It's not the same. Growing pains I guess. Still, we had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves and the endless parade of bikes and whatnot. The other guys took lots of pictures but I went without the camera this year. I decided to just sit back and let the festivities happen before my eyes.

Once again the Christian Motorcycle Association was in full force, supplying cold water to all participants. They were especially kind to me and true to form, they never pushed a single piece of theology onto anyone, but gladly offered it to anyone seeking it out.

I'm tired today and even took a 2-hour nap this afternoon (after watching some episodes of the television show, HEROES). I also read some. I did manage to do a load of dishes, fix dinner and clean up afterwards. Such is my contribution to the household today. Not great, but I was really tired.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The dog was almost out of food. I could have taken the van or better yet I could have taken the motorcycle. It was a nice day, I hadn't exercised yet so the daughter and I (and one of her neighborhood friends) followed in the footsteps of Carbon Trace and rode our bicycles. Andy, we even tried to follow the rules of the road, stopping at stop signs, not riding on sidewalks (much) and everything.

Took us 15 minutes to get to the pet store – just enough time for this fat guy to catch his breath. We bought our food, dawdled for just a second, then headed back. A 30-minute bike ride worked out quite nicely. The fat doctor will be pleased.

I'm working hard at this weight loss thing. Some days it kicks my butt and other days I teach that fat a thing or two.


Dad and I – along with our friends and family – are leaving for the Little Sturgis motorcycle rally this week. The progeny and I spent the afternoon washing and waxing the bike in preparation for the ride.

This is a guy thing so the wives stay home while we pound the street and eat some bugs and dirt. Dad and I always look foward to finding that one piece of biker equipment that we didn't know we were looking for and the dirt drag races. Dudes sign up, hop on their bikes and drag race one another on the dirt track. It's a lot of fun to watch, but there is no way I'd ever get my award winner out there. Heck no! She's way too pretty to take the chance of wrecking. Although, I don't remember seeing anyone crash before. Still.

This will be the first year on my Harley. Always in the past I've been on a Honda, which was great, but it will be nice having more of a showpiece to ride in on. My bike gets lots of looks.

(Busplunge, JackeHammer and other smart-mouthed bloggers, don't even think about leaving any wisecracks about the size of my ... headlamp or saddle bags.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The world is all a-flutter with environmental (cap-and-trade) debates, celebrity deaths, political sex scandals, gubernatorial resignations, and pool-side racism. Only two of those are really news worthy in my opinion. So why not have some fun?

Top Ten Surprises at Michael Jackson's Funeral
My favorites include:
  • Billie Jean sues for custody of the kids.
  • Macaulay Culkin flown at half mast.
  • A phalanx of zombies rise from the dead and dance.

Top Ten Harry Potter Porn Movie Titles
Again with my favs, but this time I won't quote them. I'll just give you the numbers and let you read them yourself. You know, porn and all, I'll keep it a bit more family friendly this go around. Numbers 9, 8, and 3 really do it for me.

Many thanks to the mayor of Top Ten-a-ville, Jason Rohrblogger, who constantly provides me with high-sterical fodder. What were your favorites?


According to which cars are the most overpriced? It will come as no surprise that the biggest failures come from the Big 3 Detroit automakers. The biggest offenders were:

  • Jeep Liberty
  • Dodge Ram 2500
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer

No foreign brands make the list, as those automakers' cars tend to be priced fairly when considering supply and demand as well as their high rankings on consumer-satisfaction surveys.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Springfield is having its Second Annual Comic Book Convention tomorrow (Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is at the Lamplighter Inn North. (Last year I mistakenly went to the Lamplighter Inn South at Glenstone and Sunshine. Don't make the same mistake.)

It's pretty small, but I found a ton of great comics at very reasonable prices. In my experience, the small comic cons have been outstanding places to get great comics (toys, movies, etc.) at great prices. I often make bigger hauls there than the big cons. So don't let the size fool you.


Today was the first time I went to the grocery store and did not use one single, solitary plastic grocery bag. Go environment! I've had the cloth bags for a long time now (months, actually) and I haven't used them for grocery shopping. I kept forgetting to put them in the van. Pitiful excuse isn't it?

I used my summer vacation to fold up all the cloth bags and put them into another cloth bag. Like it took any time at all. Eureka! Problem solved. It worked wonderfully. Now, if I can remember to put them back in the van before the next trip to the supermarket, I will be on a roll.

It felt good to be more globally aware. And as my good friend, Larry, over at Simple Thoughts of a Complex Mind will remind everyone: Environmentalism is not just a liberal thing. Good conservatives care about the environment, too. You may remember that Larry the conservative was recycling before I ever got on board.

Today, this progressive took another step toward conservation and caring by getting rid of the need for petroleum-based grocery bags.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I've heard it complained about that the local newspaper is liberal. One defunct blogger lamented the liberalness of the editorial board while he was a member. I read just one more article from an editorial board member and I can't fathom it. I keep wondering when it was that FOX News bought out Gannet?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


RE: Changes in parking places upset some

I stopped counting the number of times the reporter used the word "handicap". It caught my eye because I am certain the AP Stylebook specifically states not to use the word "handicap". I consulted the Internet.

I went first to AP Stylebook Online, but I don't have a membership any longer. That was ages ago. I did find "Beyond the AP Stylebook: Language and Usage for Reporters and Editors".

Most people involved in disability issues today see "disabled" or "disability" as terms of choice. Many want journalists to write "person with a disability" rather than "disabled person." A number of groups issue pamphlets explaining that the "person should come first." The terms "handicap" and "handicapped" have been used in much legislation concerning disabled people. During the 1960s and early 1970s, it was the word of choice. It fell into disrepute, however, when leaders of the disability rights movement insisted it was a term coined by special education professionals and not a term the movement chose. Today, most disability groups are changing the "handicap" in their titles to "disability."

It was 1987 that the AP Stylebook first had an entry under the heading of "handicapped". The word has been out for 20 years, so I am left wondering why she choose such language when her stylebook clearly states otherwise. What of the editors?

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Palin forgot her pledge to voters to fight for them and quit her job as governor earlier this week. The libs will see this as someone who cannot even finish what she starts, which is true. Conservatives will frame it as a move by a victimized pitbull with lipstick who is doing something unexpected. That's true too, I guess.

Nothing will change. I doubt it will affect anything. Repugs love her and libs don't. Sure makes for many headlines. Better not speculate as to why she did it. Otherwise it sounds like she might sue your rear end off.


I didn't do too bad over the holiday, food wise that is. Yesterday was a bit too carb-filled, and I'm sure I had too many dips (spinach dip, hummus, a touch of cheese dip) but for the most part I ate pretty well.

This evening I jumped right back to my daily regiment with a really refreshing and yummy veggie meal. I stole the idea from Dillon's but made it my own. Sorry, no pictures this time.

2 portabella mushroom caps
3 small Roma tomatoes
1/2 Vidalia onion
3-4 tbls minced garlic
Salt-free Greek seasoning
4 oz feta cheese

Finely chop the tomatoes and onion. Mix in garlic and seasoning. Set aside for 30 minutes. Top mushroom caps with mixture. Add feta cheese on top. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

It was delicious, healthy and nutritious. That's all I had for supper. I had some popcorn as a snack and called it done.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Gov. Nixon vetoed the motorcycle helmet repeal as cited in this News-Leader story. The reason cited was safety, specifically a study of Florida's motorcycle helmet repeal and the significant costs to taxpayers because of the repeal.

The release cited a national study that indicated the repeal of Florida's helmet law in 2002 caused medical costs for motorcycle riders with head injuries to double. The release further suggested that taxpayers wound up shouldering a "significant portion" of these increased costs, and said motorcycle fatalities in Florida "jumped sharply" after the repeal.

I surmise that Nixon chose the larger population's liberty (vast majority of taxpayers) as more important than a select few bikers who don't want to wear helmets because it is uncool.

It was the right move, but we weren't sure what Nixon would do. It's all over for now until the next legislative season when the Freedom of Road Riders try to do pass the legislation again.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I had no idea Springfield was this cool (or nerdy depending on your viewpoint) but we have our very own free celebration of all things nerdy. Really. I'm not kidding. A real celebration of nerdom.

Picnic at the End of the Universe
A Celebration of the Geeky Arts
Sunday, July 19
11 am - 6 pm
Phelps Grove Park

It is an afternoon event for gadgeteers, gamers, geeks and fandom including: science fiction, fantasy, gaming, SCA, Linux gurus, Elmers (whatever that is), Makers (whoever they are), Mythbusters and merry pranksters of all sorts.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided. You simply need to bring your own sides, drinks or desserts to share. The pavillion is reserved for the participants of nerdville. (Don't bring alcohol because it is not allowed in the park.)

Brought to the Ozarks by Eclectic Endeavors, a program of the Springfield Regional Arts Council.


We traveled to Muskogee, OK earlier this Spring for a Renaissance Festival and it was loads of turkey leg eating, wool tight wearing, fun. If you missed out then you have another chance this weekend and the next one.

4th Annual White Hart Renaissance Faire

5651 Highway F, Hartville, MO
July 3-5 & July 11-12
10 am - 6 pm
Adults: $10
Seniors: $8
Children: $6
Ages 5 & Younger: Free

The RenFest is on rain or shine, so don't worry. You should consider it. It is much more fun than I realized. We enjoyed the day immensely when we went.