Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Lady Bug

And now for something a little bit different....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Stop Killing Dogs Petition

I'd like to bring to your attention a petition "to stop brutal torture of dogs and dog meat consumption in South Korea". Please go there and sign it if you agree with it.

I'd've signed it right away if the petition had been limited to calling for a ban on the torture and inhumane treatment of dogs. But it doesn't. It also calls for South Koreans to stop eating dogs. I quote from the petition, " is a great injustice to allow dogs to be bred, raised and slaughtered for meat." If we in the USA can breed, raise and slaughter cows, calves, lambs, chickens, turkeys, pigs, etc., why can't South Koreans eat their choice of meat? So I declined to sign the petition.

Furthermore, I'm suspicious. I wonder how factual are this website's claims. And when I get that way, I tend to go to Snopes to see if the topic of dog torture has been discussed. While I did not find a reference to the petition or the website it's hosted on, I did find this Snopes page on Joey Skaggs very interesting. And most of the top forty search results on "dog torture" refer to cases within the US. Not one refers to any Asian country, except for #30, which refers to the actual petition.

So what do you think?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100224

Lately I've been drinking Blueberry Slim Life Green Tea after supper to keep me awake long enough to load the dishwasher and do some reading. It also seems to take the edge off of cravings for sweets.

Waist = 38.0"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review "How to Thrive in Changing Times"

When I signed up to review this book, I expected that it would help the reader become resilient. But as I read, I quickly realized I was mistaken. Yet I was not disappointed, because as the book's subtitle suggests, it aims to offer "simple tools to create true health, wealth, peace, and joy for yourself and the earth."

I enjoyed several sections. Her discussion on page 40 of "words as seeds" was perhaps my favorite part of this book -- a moving revelation to me.

On page 97, she implies that it's been scientifically proven that gratitude can help the immune system. It's inspiring, although there are no references to any supporting studies.

The "Gratitude Walk" on page 102 involves appreciating the beauty in nature and being thankful for it. It occurred to me that my love of nature photography is my way of appreciating the beauty in nature.

She discusses the practice of transfiguration (transmuting environmental pollution) at the beginning of chapter 7 (pages 134 to 138). She describes experiments in which her group lowered the ph of a toxic base solution, but again cites no references. In another experiment, she describes how the auric field of a peach was improved. Photos of the auric field were produced with a gas discharge visualization (GDV) camera and can be seen on a website.

The book's small size belies its lengthy content. It does this with smaller margins and small font size for the "Practice" text. As well, there's no bibliography or index and a simple one-page Table of Contents.

If read with motivation and an open mind, this will strike you as a inspiring gem of a book.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Train Station Drawing

On her blog Long Island Daily Photo, Lily Hydrangea posted a picture that includes the Farmingdale train station. It's the building on the left.

Very many years ago, I created a pencil sketch of that building, which you can see below.

This was done on something like 11" x 17" sketchbook paper, so rather than scan it, I had to photograph it.

About two years ago, I decided to throw out all my old artwork. But first, I went about scanning / photographing it. For some reason, my daughter liked this piece best of all, so it's the only piece of art I saved from that time period.

As I wrote earlier, I didn't really see the subjects of my drawings. This is evidence of that.

Just thought someone might find this interesting!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Tree Fairy

A small statue of a tree fairy cast this week's shadow....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100217

Weighing in the day after Fat Tuesday. I did have two donuts, a cookie and some chocolate....

Waist = 38.5"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SDI: Re-Using Used Headlights

I've replaced the Halogen bulb in my wife's Ford Escort headlights many times. The high beam part is usually good; only the low beam filament blows.

My idea is to use these "useless" bulbs as light sources for work lamps or as auxiliary illumination for photography. They can run on a 12 volt battery (so the lamp can be portable) and the light spectrum of halogen is a higher quality than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.

The main issue will be to devise a lens to protect the bulb, which can shatter easily if it gets wet.

Introducing My Scanner Daybook

The Scanner Daybook is a special notebook that Barbara Sher describes in Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams.

The idea is that there are certain people whom Barbara calls "Scanners." They1 have several interests or get ideas for new projects while working on old projects. The Scanner Daybook, modeled after Leonardo DaVinci's notebook, allows a scanner to briefly jot down a new idea in order to:
  • Not forget about it.
  • Satisfy an immediate craving for the idea.
  • Stay focused on a current project.
This is relevant to me because I consider myself a scanner, and I decided to use part of this blog for my Scanner Daybook.

The wild imaginings in my Scanner Daybook aren't meant to be entertaining. So feel free to skip these posts entirely.

1 Or "We," really.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Howard the Spirit Guide

My wife enjoys reading Sylvia Browne. If I'm between books, I'll read them, too, as you can see from my LibraryThing collection. I enjoy them because they're easy to read, entertaining and a bit thought-provoking, but I don't take them too seriously.

In the latest book that I'm reading, Contacting Your Spirit Guide, Sylvia writes about her spirit guide, Francine, and how you can meet your own spirit guide. (A spirit guide is an entity who is assigned to help you through your time on Earth.) She provides meditations (which are really just daydreams) that are meant to help you find out who your spirit guide is.

I'd gotten to the meditation part of the book late Thursday evening. I was incredibly relaxed. Barely awake, I read the first exercise, effortlessly visualizing as I went along (as I always do with non-technical books). I experienced (in my mind's eye) the warm, secluded beach, the palm tree that I sat against, the sand that I dug my toes into, the tropical sun that drenched me with warmth, the slow rhythm of the waves, etc. Right on cue, my spirit guide came out toward me. He was a tall, large black man with a head that was small compared to his body, the hair on it (the head, that is) short and black. He was wearing an white suit with a maroon turtle neck shirt, incongruous for the beach. Through a brief telepathic exchange, I found out that his name is Howard.

Since then, I can sense him nearby. But I don't actually see him as Sylvia can. He road with me to and from work, his head sticking through the roof of my wife's compact car. But I hardly talk to him the way Sylvia talks with Francine. I'm not really interested in finding out anything about "my chart" or past lives. I'm not sure I'd believe any of it anyway.

My wife spent hours with candles burning and mind-numbingly soft music playing, yet she could not meet her guide. My daughter couldn't do it, either, although I'm not sure how much time and effort she put into it. So my wife and daughter want me to find out who their spirit guides are because, at this point, they think their spirit guides abandoned them. I think I sensed that my wife's spirit guide is female, but that's all I could get. I suspect her spirit guide just got so frustrated from my wife not paying attention (and doing the opposite of what she's told) that she might've abandoned her.

So that's what I've been up to lately. How about you?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Potato Heads

Some Potato Head People pose for this Shadow Shot, courtesy of my daughter who decorated them...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dog's Smell

I heard on the radio that a dog's sense of smell is about a million times more sensitive than a human's. If that's true, why does my dog shove his snout into my crotch in order to sniff it? Or hover right over a steaming pile of poop with his snout only a fraction of an inch away to sniff that? I can smell it just fine from way up here, pal.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Computer-Controlled Cars are not for Wimps

The fix for Toyota Prius braking delay is reported to be a 10-minute software change.

I think we're on the verge of a computer crash causing a commuter crash!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100210

I started eating oat bran for breakfast several months ago in order to get my LDL cholesterol lower. But the 1/2 cup per day didn't make a bit of difference.

I just bought Cardiovascular Disease: Fight it with the Blood Type Diet and found out that for Type O, oat bran (and most other grains) should be avoided. Instead, lean meat, cold water fish and lots of vegetables are recommended. I wonder if oat bran is responsible for the sugar cravings I've been having?

Waist = 37.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Two Cats in the Sun

Here are two of the three cats waiting for me to go to work one morning so they can run amok:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20100204

Another Thursday weigh-in, and I actually started to get dressed before remembering!

It looks like I'm spiraling out-of-control, but I had pizza, soda and ice cream the night before. It's not fat; it's inflammation! How else can you explain 1/2 inch of growth in the waist measurement over just a seven-day period?

Waist = 38.25"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Time Flies When You're Getting Old

It seems time passes more quickly the older I get. I developed a theory for that. Each year of life that we experience is a smaller and smaller portion of the time we've already lived. For example, the amount of time between my 50th and 51st birthday will be only 0.02 (1/50) or 2% of my life. But way back when I was ten, it took 10% of my life for me to reach my eleventh birthday.

What I experience each year is not 12 months that pass. Instead, I perceive a period of time that's relative to my life. And my life seems to be going by nearly five times faster now as compared to when I was a pre-teen.

But lately, I've decided that the real issue has to do with mindfulness. Time seems to pass more quickly now because we pay less attention to life compared to when we were young. In my own personal experiment, I decided to start meditating in order to strengthen my ability to stay mindful during the course of a day. Sure enough, I had the distinct feeling that I had more time in my day, or rather that I seemed to run out of less time.

So I was intrigued by yesterday's program on All Things Considered called Why Does Time Fly By As You Get Older? "My First Theory" is indeed mentioned in that program, although it is called "Proportional Theory." They don't specifically mention mindfulness on the program (unless I wasn't paying attention) but they did bring up the idea that novelty can make it seem like time runs slower. But they claim that the perception we have of time going slowly when we're young comes about because we have more to remember about those times.

That's rubbish. I distinctly remember days from my youth that seemed to take years to pass by, particularly the days before Christmas and my birthday. In that case, anticipation of a desired event can make time slow down. We have fewer desired events to look forward to. The flip side is truer -- we have more undesired events that we experience with apprehension. In which case it's our attitude that bends time.

What do you think? Listen yourself to hear how scientists explain why time flies as you get old.