Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do You Live Near a Hazardous-Waste Site?

Use the map at the US Environmental Protection Agency's website to see if there's a contaminated site near you.

Even low levels of environmental toxins can cause flare ups of autoimmune disorders.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090527

Waist = 36.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two Cats Are Better Than One

This is a continuation of:
About two and a half months ago, I had been thinking that it was time to get a companion for our cat. It would distract him enough so he'd stop bothering the dog. We'd also be able to split the can of cat food between him and a new cat.

I saw an ad in the Sunday paper for a kitty that needed a home. It said that the cat would do fine with another cat and even a dog. I told my wife, and she immediately brightened up, took the ad, and called the number.

She said that the cat was taken. But then she called the shelter that we got our current cat from and set up an appointment to look at four top contenders.

But when we got there, we really looked at only one -- a melt-in-your-arms black cat. This guy even liked our daughter, who tends to spook cats. So we took him home.

Introducing a cat into a home with a cat and dog is a little more involved than just introducing a cat into a home with just a dog. We set up another litter box and decided to keep the two cats segregated.

Of course, the cat hissed at the dog, and the dog lunged at the cat. But the dog seemed to remember the day when we introduced him to the older cat 18 months ago, and he calmed down. We didn't need to keep him behind the toddler gate this time.

After a couple of days, we let the cats commingle. The new cat was cool, calm and comfortable around our older cat. After all, he came from a shelter in which he was surrounded by them.

But our older cat didn't like this new-comer right away. But eventually, he calmed down, and the two could sit on the same piece of furniture without sparking a nuclear reaction.

Our new cat would go to bed with our daughter, who was thrilled to finally have a pet to her own. Then after she went to sleep, he'd saunter over to sit with my wife, who was jealous that our older cat preferred my lap to sit in.

Unfortunately, one day when we were on vacation, the pet sitter called to tell us that our new cat wasn't doing well. Then the vet called to say he was gone.

We did get another cat, a grey and white tabby, about one month later. Here the two of them strike their angel poses:

Here's an article that tells you how to introduce a new pet into your home.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Our Daughter is A+

My wife and I are blood type opposites. She's A-positive while I'm O-neg. Many foods on the Blood Type diet are opposites. What's great for me (beef, lamb, banana) is bad for her. And what's great for her (soy) is bad for me.

We knew that our daughter would've inherited one of our blood types. But she was never typed, despite all the blood that was drawn over the years. And her pediatrician refused to do it. But today, we used a home blood typing kit and found out that she's A-positive.

Bummer. I mean, she loves beef and especially lamb. She mimics my method of eating lamb chops, which is to trim off any fat, cut the large bits of meat and eat them, then pick up the bone in two hands and gnaw it clean, with lots of slurping sounds.

For now, the occasional departure from blood type eating won't be a problem. But we're concerned that she might develop an autoimmune disease, so the fewer toxins she has, the better.

When she's a bit older and finished growing, we can measure her for the GenoType Diet. She might turn out to be an Explorer like my wife and me, in which case lamb will be a "Superfood"!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weigh-In 6-Month Graphical Summary

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090520

I'm trying to get into the habit of walking at lunch time. Also, because of the construction at work, I've been parking about 150 yards away. I decided to leave my snack bars in the car -- if I get really, truly hungry during the day, I'll make the extra effort to get the snacks. So far, I haven't done that.

I think I might actually miss the construction when it's done, with its inconvenient parking arrangement!

Elsewhere in the Blogopolis, Rummuser has bought Eat Right 4 Your Type and will try The Blood Type diet! And Petra Wise has decided to do the Atkins diet. She sounds committed. But I wonder if her kids are still going to get macaroni and cheese? Speaking of cheese, Tirsden is going dairy-free.

Waist = 36.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Under Construction

We have construction going on where I work. My employer needs so much more space that he's putting in a new building.

The construction is noisy, with diesel engines revving and ground-rattling booms. It makes me edgy.

So to escape, I decided I would drive past some bridge construction in order to walk in a nearby nature preserve that my wife and I used to hike in during better days.

Today I had time for only the briefest of walks, just enough to get to the pond. As I approached the pond, I detected the unmistakable sound of construction. The water had been drained, and a "steam shovel" was reinforcing the dam by adding gravel.

I laughed at the irony of trying to escape construction only to find more construction. It occurred to me that this was a message of some sort, like when several consecutive traffic lights turn red just as I drive up to them, telling me to slow (my life) down, or, perhaps, add more punctuation to my lengthy sentences.

Maybe I need to rebuild myself? My diet seems to be working, but I've certainly slacked off in the exercise department. In fact, I was thinking of canceling my membership. And I haven't done anything significant in the education department.

Or maybe I'm due for a shovel-ready spiritual renewal project. I've not been going to any choir rehearsals -- I'm thinking of quitting and skipping out on Church next season.

As I strive to think about my message, consider if you've been getting messages. Do you mis-place your keys all the time? Maybe the Universe is telling you to leave some inner part of you unlocked.

What messages do you get?

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Could MySpace become MyAfterlife, an online postmortem site?

As MySpace members die, the ranks of non-living members grow. And if MySpace's popularity wanes (as all Internet fads do), eventually it will have more dead users than living.

A somewhat-related (and less facetious) topic aired on NPR recently1. It discussed ownership of accounts of people who die.

What should happen to your blog after you die? Would you want it to remain? Would you want someone to moderate comments, or perhaps disable commenting?

What about e-mail accounts? Should your next of kin have access to your e-mail? Would you want someone to set up a sort of automated "on vacation" message that says that you've taken a trip to the Promised Land, or that you'll be out-of-the-office from now until Eternity?

Would you want someone to enter all your favorite online social sites, chatrooms, message boards, etc., to post a message with a link to your online obituary?

What are your online plans for the Afterlife?

1 "Death Often Brings Disputes Over Online Lives," by Yuki Noguchi, May 11, 2009, All Things Considered

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Next Pet Is a Cat

This is a continuation of My First Pet, My Second Pet and The Next Pet is not a Cat ...

December 2007. At this point in our lives, we have had our large dog for six years, my wife is coping with the chronic pain of Transverse Myelitis, and my mother has just died.

I've been on the blood type diet for almost eight months, so I'm starting to wonder if I'm still allergic to cats. The reason I wonder this is because many of my other allergy symptoms have gone away. But more importantly, my wife reminds me that she misses having a cat to hold and squeeze:

"But I thought you said we can't have a cat because we live on a busy road," I say, trying to work out the complexities of the female mind.

"We'll just have to keep the cat indoors, that's all."

"Ah, but I thought you said that cats need to be let outside to run free," I counter, feeling the ground shifting out from under me.

"They do, but we can't do that," she says, clearly winning the discussion.

"" is my reply.

Soon she has contacted a No Kill Cat Shelter (on PetFinder1) in a nearby town and talked with the owner. We have three recommendations for "a tough, sturdy cat who can live with a dog," and an appointment to meet them.

We go to the shelter with the carrier that we used to pick up our puppy, who, incredibly, was once cat-sized. We see many cats, both in cages and out. Many are sleeping -- it is the middle of the day, after all.

One of the recommended cats is a black and white American Shorthair, a tuxedo, with funny asymmetry on his face. He seems to be the favorite. Indeed, his curiosity leads him to enter our carrier. And thus we are Chosen. I close the door to the carrier, and we go.2

He cries out loudly in protest during the entire 30 minute trip home.

When we get home, we put the dog on leash on the main level, and bring the cat down into the lower level where the litter box is. We provide food and water, too. Some cats will run under a bed or sofa after leaving the cat carrier, but this guy simply goes exploring.

Eventually he finds the dog. The dog sees the cat and lunges. I brace myself, with the one hand on the leash; the other on a door jam. The cat hisses and arches his back, like a Halloween cat. I hold back the dog. "No!" The dog actually understands after about five minutes. The cat understands, too. He understands that he's the Boss.

After a few days, he loses all fear of the dog and starts launching quick ambush attacks at him. He also brings us offerings, as if we are Gods of the Land of Canned Food and need to be appeased. The gifts are plastic-wrapped items from the basement and laundry room.

A few days later, he catches his first mouse. The dog is appalled and finds refuge in a remote room in the house while the cat enjoys inflicting mouse torture.

The cat decides he likes me best. My wife gets mad whenever he chooses my lap to rest in. I can't help it if I smell attractive to cats.

I find myself wanting to call my mother to tell her about the cat. And I find myself taking pictures of the cat. But many pictures come out unfocused because the auto-focus just can't deal with furry creatures. Eventually I buy another camera just so I can take good shots of the cat.

And thus we are again owned by a cat.

1 Please consider adopting a pet. Visit PetFinder and search the listings near your town for a new companion!

2 The adoption process is a bit more involved than the way I portray it above. We filled out an application first before visiting the shelter. Then after we chose our pet (or he chose us), we signed an agreement that said that we would keep the cat indoors and that we would not declaw the cat. We also paid a nominal "donation" fee. The fee helps defray the cost of shots and neutering. In fact, if you were to get a free kitten from someone, you'd have to pay a lot more for the vet exam, shots and neutering.

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090513

I'm still under 160lbs despite my recent food-based celebrations. And I've lost about 12lbs over a six-month period without too much effort!

Waist = 36.75"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Today is Quote Friday on Lynne's Blog. The quote is "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative," Oscar Wilde.

This is a great quote for me.

In manufacturing companies, some engineers devote their livelihood to process control. That includes dictating what steps a human operator should carry out in order to assemble some product.

Something as tediously mundane as changing the order in which you tighten four screws that hold something together can have a pick impact on how that product performs, especially over a long period of time.

So production companies gravitate toward hiring assemblers and technicians that show a remarkable, almost inhuman, ability to be consistent.

Which explains why I've always avoided production.  I just can't do something the same way repeatedly.  I get bored.  I also need to satisfy my curiosity.  I'm always wondering if there's a better way to do something.  And my imaginative thinking ultimately leads to splendid innovation.

If you listened outside my cubical, you might hear, "Cool, I just eliminated all those keystrokes," or, "Wow, I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore."

If you're stuck in a rut of consistency:
  1. I can't imagine how you can live like that, and
  2. You should try to pay attention more to what you're doing and not the end result.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 20090506

I never thought I'd get my weight below 160lbs. But some of this weight loss is due to my not having worked out at the gym for over a month.
Waist = 37.00"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Flashback: Energy Level Profile

This is an excerpt from my personal journal, dated 2003-06-12. This is what it was like for me to have adrenal fatigue, although I didn't know it at that time. I didn't get any sort of treatment until the summer of 2006 when I got my CPAP machine, and again in April 2007 when I saw the N.D. who recommended supplements and the Blood Type Diet.
  • 6AM: Sleeping/groggy.
  • 7AM: Awake, but low functioning.
  • 10AM: Energy still is low, despite coffee, but I can catch up on email. Sometimes I can't remember having driven to work. Energy slowly rises.
  • 1PM: Lunch brings a brief energy rise.
  • 3PM: A descent into an abyss. Stupor.
  • 4PM: "Tea-time" break. Energy improves somewhat.
  • 5PM: Best energy level yet. Now that most people are gone, I can focus well on my work.
  • 7PM: Levels are being drained in the attempt to keep up with the 5yo.
  • 8PM: The 5yo's bedtime routine, which I participate in, causes a precipitous drop in energy. I lapse into sleep while reading books [to her]. The 5yo smacks me to keep me awake. I lie on her bedroom floor waiting for her to finish using the bathroom before I can tuck her in.
  • 9PM: Recovery, thankfully. Many chores await. The brisk walk with the dog causes an energy surplus.
  • 10PM: Most of the chores are done. I hit the computer or read a book on a high.
  • 11PM: Waning energy develops into periods of lost consciousness. I fight to keep my eyes open. When my book finally falls out of my hands, I start thinking about rousing myself enough to get to bed.
  • 11:30PM: I use the 5yo's berry-flavored toothpaste. The minty stuff might wake me up.
  • 11:35PM: My head hits the pillow. Usually I can stay awake long enough to turn out the light. But not always.