Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2010

Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2010:

Wednesday Weigh-In 20101230

Last night I volunteered to cook the beef for our tacos. My wife was not looking, so I threw away the seasoning packet that came with the taco kit. Instead, I used the spices we had on hand, lots of Chile powder, cumin, salt, a little cocoa powder and fresh oregano leaves. As well, I cooked in the fresh garlic and onions.

Nobody complained, and I was able to avoid a load of nasty ingredients4, such as:
  • Yellow Corn Flour
  • Maltodextrin
  • Modified Corn Starch
  • Citric Acid
  • Autolyzed Yeast Extract
  • Caramel Color (sulfites)
We also always discard the cheese sauce. When I eat tacos, I just eat the meat filling with some rice, and I skip the corn taco. But my wife and daughter do eat the tacos normally. Hopefully from now on she will buy just the taco shells instead of wasting money on the kits.

Waist = 37.0"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dream: Meeting at the Park

I've organized an engineering meeting at a park. We're eating lunch together on a picnic table waiting for others to arrive. Nearby there's an underground pipe that opens in a ditch, and there's foul smoke coming from it. Sometimes the wind blows the smoke in our direction, so it stinks up the place. I decide that we should move to another table on another part of the grounds.

The grounds themselves are arranged like the Tower, but it's expansive like my elementary school's yards. The table we're at now would be in front of the entrance to the "Tower." We move around the right side of it.

A group of people from work show up. They're doing a fundraising challenge for United Way. Kasie asks me if I'd like to participate, since I usually get involved. But I tell her, with genuine regret, no this time because I have a meeting.

The spot for the meeting has been selected. But for some reason I'm now on the other side of the grounds. I just have to walk through the building and come out on the other side to get to the new picnic table location.

I enter the building. It's a country gift store, very cluttered with all sorts of knickknacks. There's also an adjoining restaurant and meeting room. The place has been reserved by another group as well as by us. I walk through a roped off section in order to get to the other side of the building and out to my meeting. There's some sort of black ball tied to a loop of yellow rope hanging off one of the pylons that serves to rope off the section. I take this object as I step over the rope. The object seems to be like a mace.

I take about a dozen steps further, but then I decide to return the ball back to where it was hanging. Having done that, I retrace my steps and now find myself holding a blue doll's dress with a blond wig attached. The hair on the wig is made from thick yellow yarn and has a hat attached. I don't want to keep carrying it, so I look for a clever place that can be adorned and hang the dress on the back of a white wooden chair.

Now I really need to get to my meeting, so I try to wind my way through the store. I come to another store, a "head" shop. I can see a way out the building, but there's a low concrete wall that defines an arcing path around to an aquarium. Now I'm starting to get frustrated. I follow that for a short distance to see if there's a way out of that maze. Beyond that is a bowling alley. Finally, I find an alley that leads up hill. I think it will take me to the area where the picnic table is situated. I struggle. It's not that steep, but I feel as if I'm tugging something heavy or pushing against a large weight. The ground is hard black asphalt.

I come to a young man sitting on the ground on the left in the alley with his legs in the alley. The low concrete wall is on my right. At first I feel trepidation. What if he's a criminal and tries to rob me or beat me up? But that's a fleeting thought, and I lumber by him. Just beyond, again on the left, there are huge red-orange trash bins with a man and a woman lying together next to them. As I approach, they get up and start walking ahead of me in the same direction that I'm going. As well, there are many people over-taking me from behind. I feel like a slow-poke on a highway where everyone's speeding.

Dream: Telephone Code Pamphlet

I'm reading a pamphlet with a blue cover that's meant to be read while using a telephone. In place of some words there are numbers. You're supposed to use the telephone keypad to translate the numbers into words, and then you fill in the blanks on the opposite page. One sentence is a title like, "Can You Live Happily Ever After?"

I'm reading this book with my daughter. Two of her friends will visit soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Make People Think You're Normal

Although I bought "How to Make People Think You're Normal" over one year ago, I didn't give it to my daughter until today. She thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I don't think she appreciated some of the ideas. For example, there's the chapter devoted to the author's perspective as a teacher and his veiled rants against the pressures to give out A grades to all his students.

OTOH, there's plenty of sophomoric humor, too.

Anyway, I hope you had a great day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20101222

The dog's tumor is growing too fast. It's infected and oozing blood. We decided to have it operated on again. But this time, a specialist will remove part of the jaw as well, to prevent it from growing back.

That activity, plus a hectic work day, means I sometimes eat half the lunch I normally do and fewer snacks.

I hope you enjoy all your holiday events!

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stress Management -- Autogenics Training

"Autogenics training teaches you to create a feeling of warmth and heaviness throughout your body.... [As a result you can experience] a profound state of physical relaxation, bodily health, and mental peace."

Learn autogenics training for free at this website. It's simple to do. Treat yourself!

Dream: King of the Bees

I'm in the backyard with my daughter. We're waiting for a special event, like Solstice. Suddenly I notice an elephant walking around the yard. I exclaim to my daughter, "Look at the elephant..." As I say this, I notice that it has a very long neck, like that of a giraffe. I do a double-take and realize there's also a giraffe walking alongside the elephant. So I add "...and the giraffe walking around the yard!" There are also smaller animals, perhaps a dog and a cat, trotting with the larger ones.

Our neighbor's tool shed lies in the center of the open space formed by our yard and our neighbor's. My daughter and I decide to hide behind it, using it as a sort of blind so as not to scare the animals. But then the neighbor shows up. She's a tough woman of middle-age, with short light brown hair, perhaps of Irish decent, like our dog's breeder. It is her tool shed, and I'm worried that she'll be upset about us being so close.

Now the tool shed takes the form of an octagonal gazebo. The neighbor diverts my attention to the ceiling, where there are a bunch of bees swarming. We need to get out of there, so I make my get-away. But one bee has gone down my back. The woman pulls it out from my waistband as she runs behind me. I realize that she has an ulterior motive. She wants to inject me with bee venom in order to turn me into the King of the Bees. I pretend I don't know this, and I allow her to get the bee to sting me in the right upper arm. I try to notice any effects from the sting, like superpowers. But all I notice is that some large white letters used as signage on a fence have disappeared or turned red.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dream Challenge

Join Redhawk's Dream Challenge. On December 28, place a pen or pencil and paper by your bed so that you can write down any dreams you might have as soon as you wake up. Then send them to Redhawk.

Read more about it here. I think it will be interesting!

Dream: The PT Waiting Room

I'm at our next door neighbor's house. It's starting to snow. They left the back door open, and snow is coming in through the screen window. It occurs to me that it would be a good idea if we were to visit each other in the winter every day in order to save on heating costs.

I'm bicycling to my wife's physical therapy (PT) appointment. I'm late. I'm going north on OF road. I reach Main street and stop at the red light. I was supposed to turn left earlier, so I'll have to make a U-turn around the center divider. The light turns green and I go. I realize the road may be slick, so I purposely try to see if I can skid or spin the back wheel. I do manage just a bit.

Now I'm riding east on Main looking for OF road, but I can't seem to find it. As if from out of town, I notice how run down some parts are. I see litter and graffiti, and some buildings are boarded up. I attempt to turn off the road at a spot that's muddy, guessing that it's the right road, but I change my mind and get back on Main street.

I eventually reach a hotel at the end of the road. It's painted turquoise. I ride behind it to turn around. As I go back out I come to a flimsy gate. A few girls have just walked through it, and now it's swinging shut toward me. I manage to bump into it strong enough to push it open and go through. The girls apologize. Somehow, I finally make it to PT.

I'm sitting with my wife in the waiting room. I have my work bag with me, so to while away the time I sort through the bag to organize it. I come across my jock strap, which I will need to wear at karate later today. It closely resembles my CPAP mask. There is a pre-teen girl also in the waiting room. She gets embarrassed at seeing the jock strap. Nevertheless, I put it on over my clothes.

I now notice that we can see the room in which the therapy is given. I see a man on a floor that's covered with blue mats. He's propped on his side on his right elbow facing us, receiving therapy from a man close by. His head is much smaller compared to his shoulders. He almost looks like Tom Brady, with that dark, short hair. I recognize him as a patient from the Naturopathic Doctor's office. I mention to my wife that I see him go to Dr. Williams' office. Another patient that's also waiting hears me and comments loudly, "Dr. Williams? What do you see him for?" The rude man has a black eye. I don't answer. I just stare at him. He continues to talk to us.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Cat Buddies

These two are so cute together. And there's even a shadow in the shot!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Solstice Lunar Eclipse

The upcoming Winter Solstice will have a lunar eclipse associated with it.

Find out more at this NASA web page.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20101215

Still losing weight. It could be because I'm going to bed a bit earlier instead of staying up and using snacks to stay awake.

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Cat and Leaves

Our cat takes a break from watching the leaf shadows...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guide to Safe RF

Our daughter must receive a cell phone for Christmas this year. Otherwise, disaster will befall the entire world, and perhaps several neighboring ones, as well.

I really don't like the idea of cell phones. Why?
  • Because we got along fine without them twenty years ago, and now we've been brainwashed into thinking they're a necessity.
  • Because a cell phone is yet another thing to carry around; like an umbrella, a pair of gloves and sunglasses, it's something to leave behind or lose.
  • Because it's something else that will become obsolete and require an upgrade.
  • Because the service is another drain on our family's fiances.
  • Because it needs recharging.
  • Because it emits powerful RF energy.
It's this last item that bothers me. No one really knows what the long-term effect is of being exposed to all the Radio Frequency (RF) energy that a cell phone emits. When I said this to my wife and daughter, my wife responded with, "I carried one in my pocket for work for years and nothing happened to me." Of course we both realized immediately how poor that argument was -- my wife's strange bouts with inflammation started not long after we got the second cell phone.

Anyway, if you're concerned about cell phone safety, here's an article that you can read. It's called Is Your Health on the Line?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Colors of My Rainbow

Your rainbow is shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Feather Atlas

Have you ever come across an unusual feather on the ground and wondered what bird it came from? If so, you'll appreciate the Feather Atlas, a project of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20101208

I ran my "Serotyping With Advanced Modifying Inventories" or SWAMI and found out that I'm 44% Explorer Genotype. So I have a new list of beneficial foods, neutrals and avoids. Although I've been eating a very similar diet already, because I already tested out as an Explorer and have been blending the diets, there are some foods (yogurt in particular) that I need to cut out.

I've been "sort of" following this new diet for a few days. What I mean is that I don't voluntarily order or prepare foods that have avoids in them. I even passed up free crème brûlée last night! But I'm not about to pass up my wife's meatballs just because she added some Parmesan cheese to them. (She did use spelt bread rather than regular wheat bread.)

Waist = 37.5"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday Wisteria on Trellis

The wisteria on this trellis is dormant for winter.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In 20101201

Just going through a spell of reduced eating due to anxiety.

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.