Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171118

The new scale arrived, so I decided to do an "immediate" weigh-in.

I'm now using the Balance Body Composition Bath Scale. The resolution for weight is 0.1lb; for percent body fat, 0.1%. The resolution of the previous scale was 0.5lb and 1%, respectively.

The new scale also reports water, muscle mass, bone, and it computes BMI directly. But for these weigh-ins, I'll continue to calculate BMI myself, and I'll report only weight and body fat. I didn't get the model with any connectivity to a computer, and all those other numbers are hard to remember. (I usually weigh myself in the morning and then enter the data much later in the day or even the next day.)

It's scary that I'm only 11.2lbs away from hitting 200lb! That's crazy!

Waist = 43.25"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Balance Body Composition Bath Scale
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Experiencing Technical Difficulties

I had been planning to resume the Wednesday Weigh-ins. Unfortunately, after I weighed myself on 10/18, the scale stopped working. I guess I broke it! Another scale is on order, and I'll resume the weigh-ins soon, most likely on 11/22.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171018

One of the reasons I stopped entering these weekly measurements was because I got tired of thinking about something to write about them. So I might just write nothing, which is essentially what I'm doing this time.

Waist = 43.5"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Quotes from David Perlmutter and Alberto Villoldo's "Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment"

Here are quotes from "Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment," by David Perlmutter and Alberto Villoldo...
Andrew Newberg, M.D., director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, uses sophisticated brain mapping and imaging techniques to examine how meditation changes both the structure and function of the brain.  In his book How God Changes Your Brain, Newberg states that meditation not only modifies specific areas of the brain but helps the meditation practitioner behave and express emotions and a more positive manner. 
Newberg's work shows that meditation enhances blood flow as well as function in an area of the brain called the anterior cingulate, an evolutionary newcomer that mediates empathy, social awareness, intuition, compassion, and the ability to regulate emotion.  This structure sits in the front of the brain and wraps around the anterior of the corpus callosum, which is the thick network of neurons that bridges the two hemispheres.  In addition to these functions, the anterior cingulate acts as communications conduit between the amygdala, which, as we've already stated, is one of the most primitive brain structures, and the prefrontal cortex. 
The anterior cingulate thus stands at the crossroads.  Its functionality, or lack thereof, helps determine whether our day-to-day behavior is reflexive and fear-motivated or is a manifestation of our uniquely human ability to recognize a wide array of choices, implications, and consequences.  Newberg has quite graphically shown that meditation and other spiritual practices strengthen the anterior cingulate while also calming the primitive amygdala. 
As might be expected, anger produces an effect quite the opposite from meditation.  Anger shuts down communication to the prefrontal cortex.  Emotion and fear determine and dominate behavior.  As Newberg states, "Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes.  Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you're acting in an irrational way.  When your frontal lobes shutdown, it's impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion….  When you intensely and consistently focus on your spiritual values and goals, you increase the blood flow to your frontal lobes and anterior cingulate, which cause the activity in emotional centers of the brain to decrease." - page 80-81

Bӧn is ancient indigenous spiritual tradition of Tibet.  The lineage of Bӧn teachers is said to have been founded by Tӧnpa Shenrab 18,000 years ago, predating Buddhism by many thousands of years.  Tӧnpa Shenrab was born into a royal family and, according to legend, left the comfort of the palace and traveled to Mount Kailash, where he meditated and attained enlightenment.  Even today, follows of the Bӧn religion venture into nature to fast and pray so they can heal their Light Body and attain a greater understanding of the workings of the mind and of consciousness. 
An essential teaching of Bӧn, known as Dzogchen (or the Great Perfection), suggests that once you heal your Light Body with specific practices, you are even able to survive physical death. 
After the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet during the 7th century, the Bӧn traditions, which to this day remain shamanistic, lost favor among the royal families.  In 1987, however, the Dalai Lama, who is a master of Dzogchen, recognized Bӧn as one of the five schools of Tibetan Buddhism and forbade discrimination against Bӧn practitioners. 
Dzogchen practice cultivates a Light Body that is free from the imprints of trauma and disease.  This is known as the natural, primordial state of an unconditioned mind.  In this state, meditation comes easily and infuses everyday activities.  You no longer need to retire to a primordial cave or monastery to attain inner peace and joy.As your Light Body heals and your natural mind establishes itself, you'll start to attain an inner peace and equanimity that will radiate all around you. 
As you become increasingly enlightened, your body will become more luminous.  People will notice there is no longer a figurative dark cloud hanging over you or a literal dark mood about you.  Instead, there is a new radiance to your being. 
As your Light Body heals and your natural mind establishes itself, you'll start to attain an inner peace and equanimity that will radiate all around you.  As you become increasingly enlightened, your body will become more luminous.  People will notice there is no longer a figurative dark cloud hanging over you or a literal dark mood about you.  Instead, there is a new radiance to your being.  - page 130

While any day of the month would be fine for fasting, the Power Up Your Brain Program recommends that you fast on the 11th day after a full Moon, which is the day considered auspicious for fasting in Ayurvedic texts.  We believe there is a special advantage to fasting on the same day as the many other people who participate in the Power Up Your Brain Program.  When you fast with others, whether they're physically present with you or halfway around the globe, you enter into intentional resonance with those persons.  This will make it easier for you to attain brain synergy as you, along with others, collectively awaken the capabilities of the prefrontal cortex.
Check out the website for more information, including the five core species of probiotic.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20171012

This is the first Weigh-In in a long time. Gosh, have I gained weight, fat and girth!

Waist = 43.5"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: “I Drink for a Reason,” David Cross

This is a review of “I Drink for a Reason,” by David Cross.

I was amused by this book as soon as I picked it up.  The tattoo of a cat butt on the author’s face totally cracked me up.  But then I laughed even harder when I realized it wasn’t a tattoo at all.  It was a small crescent-shaped stain from a bit of dried cat feces!  I didn’t realize it was cat feces right away – it wasn’t until I scraped it off with my thumbnail that I surmised what it was.

Now that I think about this, I was in the kitchen when this happened.  I hope I wasn’t eating at the time and that I remembered to wash my hands.

So then I started to actually read the book.  That’s when I really started laughing.  Because that was when I realized I could write a funny review about the book and mention how I found cat feces on the author’s face!

Now on to the actual review….  Can I say that I couldn’t put the book down?  No I honestly cannot say that.  That would be a lie.  Of course I could put the book down.  In fact, that’s how I preferred to read it.  I sat at the kitchen table and put the book down in front of me.  That way I could read it and have both hands free to fondle myself.  Unfortunately, the cat decided to lie on top of the book.  At that point I paid less attention to the book and more attention to the fondling.

But one time I had put the book down on top of the newspaper.  So when the cat went on top of the book, I was able to slide the newspaper out from underneath and read that instead.  I was hoping that if I then put the newspaper next to the book, the cat would get off the book and lie on top of the paper.  If there’s anything irresistible to a cat, it’s a newspaper, especially one that a human is trying to read.  But the cat showed total indifference to the newspaper, and I was unsuccessful getting my book back.  Well, at least I was able to read the newspaper that night, so the book proved to be quite valuable in that regard.  Next time, I hope to put the newspaper on top of the book.  And then when the cat lies on top of the newspaper, I’ll slide the book out and read it.  I really hope Mr Cross writes another book, so I can write another review and let you know how well the newspaper-on-top-of-book trick worked.

In every book review, I always like to write about my favorite part of the book.  I would have to say that my favorite part was the bit about how he wakes up and finds out that someone got into his bedroom and stole a beautiful gold cup.  He gets really bad ass crazy, like flying around, smashing things and roaring.  He’s not sure who did it, but he’s sure someone from town had something to do with it.  So he flies over to the town, screaming the whole time, lighting people’s houses on fire.  People run in all directions, especially into the lake to get away from all the flames.  All that unbridled anger and fury – it’s so wicked cool.  Unfortunately, there’s this guy who stays totally chill during the melee.  He shoots his lucky arrow at him, and hits him right in the chest where his scales are missing.  The arrow penetrates all the way in. He screeches in pain and fury, but it’s too late.  He plunges dead into the huge lake, making a great cloud of steam burst up.  I think this part could’ve been even better if he caught the arrow in mid air, lit it on fire and threw it back at the guy, hitting him right in the eye.  Yeah that would've been awesome.

Anyway, I think you’ll enjoy this book.  I’ll be returning it to the library tomorrow so that you can check it out next.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Quotes from Bruce Lipton's "The Biology of Belief"

Here are quotes and resources from Bruce Lipton’s Tenth Anniversary Edition of “The Biology of Belief”:

“...tDCS can influence neural activity that results in increasing attention, expanding memory, improving visual abilities and mathematical skills, and alleviating symptoms of depression. (Sanders 2014)” There’s also a reference to Nathan Whitmore, a neuroscience researcher at the National Institute of Aging and advocate of DIY brain zapping. .

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, “To create awareness in our children and our communities that we can choose love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, and forgiveness and compassion over bitterness.”

“Soul survivor : the reincarnation of a World War II fighter pilot,” by Bruce and Andrea Leininger, available at SPL.

“Dying to be me : my journey from cancer, to near death, to true healing,” by Anita Moorjani, available at APL & SPL.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dirth of Low-Carb Frozen Dinners

Frustrated by the high carbohydrate content of the typical frozen dinner, I've decided to make my own meals from frozen vegetables, Steak-umms and butter, plus various spices.

Below is a low-quality photo-log of my first attempt, which I assembled to take to work and heat in the microwave oven.  The vegetables heated much more quickly than the meat; I ran it at high power for about seven minutes to get the meat to "medium".

The second time I put one together, I broke the frozen sheets of meat into quarters and arranged them around the perimeter and bunched the vegetables and butter into the center.  This arrangement took only five minutes to cook.

The frozen glass container gets quite wet from condensate, so I've learned to wrap it in a towel for transport.  The towel also serves as a "pot holder" -- the glass becomes too hot to carry after the food is heated.

The solution to the problem of raw meat is, of course, to cook the meat.  But then it's not something I can whip together in an emergency.

Folks might ask, "Haven't you seen the frozen dinners from Atkins?"  "Yes, dear, reader, I have," I might respond.  "But those products contain many nasty chemicals (neurotoxins) and lack enough fat to provide a satisfying meal."

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Triple Washed

Here's a slogan for producers of packaged lettuce:

"Our lettuce is triple-washed, ensuring that you get the cleanest bugs in the produce industry!"

Sunday, July 23, 2017

One-of-a-Kind Gluten-Free Pancakes

The pancakes I made this morning could've been a disaster, but they turned out surprisingly good.  And I'm not really sure how I made them.

The classic pancake recipe1 basically calls for 1 cup flour, 1 egg, ¾ cup milk, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted shortening, 2 teaspoons sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt.  That's from memory – it might not be exact.

But I had just bought Bob's Red Mill Teff flour2 and I wanted to use it to make pancakes.  I read on the back of the package “Substitute up to ¼ cup teff flour per cup of wheat flour...” I took it to mean “Substitute ¼ cup teff flour for each cup of wheat flour...” and that's what I did.  But of course that's not what Bob meant.  I should've combined ¼ cup of teff with ¾ cup of wheat flour for my recipe.

Fortunately, I'm a veteran pancake maker, and I quickly realized my mistake.  I knew I needed more dry ingredients, so first I added some ground flax seed because I wanted to use it up.  Then I added more teff flour.  When I remembered that I had almond flour that was never opened, I added that.  But then it was too thick, so I thinned it out with tap water until finally I had batter that I could pour.

So here is my One-of-a-Kind Gluten-Free Pancake Recipe:

½ cup teff flour
½ cup almond flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
¾ teas. Baking soda
1 ½ teas. Cream of Tartar
2 teas. Truvia (or other stevia substitute)
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup half & half
2-3 tbsp extra light olive oil

Several pats of unsalted butter for the pan.
2-3 tbsp extra light olive oil for the pan

Place a large cast iron skillet, dry, on medium heat.

Combine the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and beat the egg into a uniform mixture.
Combine the flours, flax seed and salt and add to the bowl.

Mix together the baking soda and cream of  tartare (or use 3 teas. fresh baking powder3) and add to the bowl.  Blend the batter together until all lumps are gone.  Add water to thin out the batter, if desired.  Observe the wonderful bubbles.

Check the pan.  Drip some water droplets onto the surface.  If they sputter and dance around, add the oil and coat the surface.  Then add a pat of butter at each spot that you'll pour the batter on.

As soon as the butter has melted, pour the batter onto the pan and cook like normal pancakes.

1 Betty Crocker Cookbook
3 Basic Baking Powder substitution from Fitday

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book Review: Poundstone's Search for Human Happiness

I started reading humor in earnest about one week after the November 2016 election.

When I came across “The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness” I hadn't heard about Paula's first book yet, but I was accustomed to hearing her on NPR's Wait, Wait, Don' Tell Me, where she'd advocate for the humane treatment of Twinkies or extol the virtues of the Apple Cinnamon Pop Tart. So I was really excited to get my hands on it. The book, not the Pop Tart.

I won't say that I couldn't put the book down – that would be lying. And besides it's such a pathetic cliché. But I will say that I read the book in record time. And one night, while I was lying on my back in bed, holding the book above me so that I could read it, I picked it right back up again after I dozed off and dropped it on my face. (Note to self, avoid reading hardcover books while lying on back.)

I enjoyed the variety of humor. There's plenty of the self-effacing cracks that you'd expect from a comedian / cat lady. There's also a spot light on the thoughtlessness / stupidity all of us face as we navigate our day-to-day existence. For example, she tells how she needed to sign up online for a class on computers for absolute beginners. And, my favorite, the mental slapstick during her meditation class. All this undergirded by a bizarre unique, out-of-the-box thought process.

There were sections that made me uncomfortable, though. I kept worrying that she would smash the Lamborghini (or that it would get vandalized or stolen) even as I entertained the notion that she had somehow gotten her publisher to reimburse her for the rental fee. And the first “Get Organized” chapter was draining because it hit so close to home. I still remember how tedious and dreadful it was for me to declutter my home office, even though it was more than ten years ago. Personally I think she should've kept the underwear with all the holes in it. I find that “holey” underwear is nice on a hot day. And with global warming, the summers won't be getting much cooler for at least the next dozen or so epochs.

This is one of the few books that I was able to read the Acknowledgments section to completion. In most books, it's a seemingly endless string of shout-outs. But Paula's gratitude is genuine, if, perhaps, swamped with relief over having completed the book. Yet I'm surprised that she did not thank her sixteen cats – they deserve to be acknowledged for not peeing on the computer keyboard, or for not highlighting the file and stepping on the Delete key, before Paula sent the manuscript to the publisher. Or maybe they did, and Paula had a backup copy.

Regardless of intention, I think the book serves just as well as a self-help book as it does entertainment. Obviously the humor provides immediate relief from the doldrums. But then for extended relief, you'll benefit from Paula's findings, three of which are that: 1. Happiness from a fancy car is fleeting; B. Getting a good night's sleep does wonders for your outlook; π. Striving to make others happy brings happiness to yourself. So the book is like that dual-action, 12-hour Mucinex – immediate and long-acting relief.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170531

I've had this incredible urge to drink my homemade sports drink:
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup of white grape juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 10 or more ounces of water
I got the recipe from (I think) an issue of Men's Health magazine.

Waist = 41.25"
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 19, 2017

VIMH: Comedy Routine -- "Dworkin"

VIMH stands for "Voices In My Head" -- a new feature in this blog.  Like the "Dream" posts, the content will be from an alternate reality -- day dreams.

All my life, I've had hundreds of significant thoughts every day. But lately my brain has been working overtime on elaborate monologues. Here's one in which I come out on stage to do a stand up comedy routine...

Thank you so much. How many of you have heard my routine before? Just clap if you have? [silence] Anyone? [more silence] Anyone at all? Ah ha, trick question! I actually don't have a routine. I just come out here on stage without any idea what of I'm about to say.
But before I launch into my non-routine, I have a sort of experiment I want to try. See, I used to be an engineer. But after about 25 years it occurred to me how boring it is. I'm still a bit of a gear head, though. I like data, finding patterns, making connections. Lately I'm into studying people named “Dworkin.”
Anyone out there named “Dworkin?” Yes, really? Okay, wow, that's great. Could you stand up please? [house lights gradually turn on] Both of you? Okay! This is exciting. Wow. Wait, hold on, are you female? Have you always been female? So you're married to a Dworkin? Or is that your brother or cousin? Or both? Maybe you married your cousin? Well, could be if you're from Kentucky...
Oh you married a Dworkin? Hmm, I'm not sure this will work. You know, I've never met a female Dworkin before. [looking them over appraisingly] Hmm. Ahh. Interesting. Could you move out into the aisle. I need to get a good look at you.
In the meantime, I'd like to point out to everyone how the house lights turned on. And I didn't even ask for that. That's wonderful. It means we have a great lighting crew here tonight. You know why they're great? They're paying attention, listening to the routine. Or non-routine. They could've just set a timer when I started my set and took a nap. But they didn't do that. They were listening. And then when I started in with the audience participation, they undimmed the lights. They didn't just click them on, blinding everyone. That would've sucked. No they were real artistic about it. [to the crew...] How many of you are there? Just blink the lights to show me. Three? Great. How many of you are male? Two? How many are female? Don't laugh. Ten years ago that would be a joke. Today it's a serious question, unless you're from North Carolina.
[Two Dworkins are standing in the aisle.] A good lighting crew goes unnoticed. A bad one can ruin your evening. Like the time I took my daughter to see her friend's ballet recital. I'm not a fan of ballet. And amateur ballet makes me anxious – I'm afraid someone's gonna fall. Or fart. Or fart after falling. My plan was to wait for the house lights to dim and then close my eyes. But they didn't dim. So if I closed my eyes, those girls on stage would see that I had my eyes closed. Maybe one would get upset and fall. Or fart. Even if I wanted to watch the performance like a normal fan, the glare from the lights was giving me a headache. Finally, after intermission, someone dimmed the lights.
[Two Dworkins are still standing in the aisle.] The point is, I'm not the only one working tonight. But I'm the one you're clapping for. Or heckling. The unseen performers that are here tonight are just as deserving of your adoration. There's the lighting crew. The folks doing audio; without them I'd be [moving lips as if talking] like an idiot. Security, too. They're out there, somewhere, packing a whole lot of heat, so don't get any ideas. Someone's got a finger on the thermostat too, making sure we're comfortable. And you wondered why you had to pay 30 bucks to get in. At least most of you paid. And I get only two dollars out of that.
So let's give our unsung heroes a round of applause.
[Two Dworkins are still standing in the aisle. Finally I notice them.] Hello there? What are you two doing standing there? Are your hemorrhoids giving you that much trouble? You do have tickets, don't you? Well then sit down! Otherwise I'll have to call Security.
Wait hold on. You 're not named “Dworkin” are you?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

One of My Favorite TV Scenes

Thought you'd like to know, this is one of my favorite scenes from a current television series...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Can't Get Here From There

Whenever I hear journalists discuss Syrian refugees, they usually mention how Turkey and Greece are overwhelmed by the huge number of people, followed by a plea for cities in Europe and USA and even Australia to allow more immigrants.  But I never hear about refugees going to the wealthy middle eastern states of Saudi Arabia (20.5), Qatar (73.7), Kuwait (29.3), UAE (40.4)1.  Why?  A busload of Syrians can travel from Aleppo to Riyadh in less than one day.

It makes me think the “Muslim Invasion Theory” is real.

Distance from Aleppo to Riyadh: 1570km (20.5)
Distance from Aleppo to New York City: 9000km (56.1)
Distance from Aleppo to Paris: 3145km (36.4)

1The numbers in parentheses are the GDPs per capita in thousands of US dollars of the respective countries, according to the World Bank:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170427

Okay, how do I not eat the ice cream, chips and Nutella before I go to bed?

Waist = 41.0"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alternate Advice

I read the “Ask Amy” advice column nearly every day.  Yesterday's column kept gnawing at me to respond with “Alternate Advice.”  Let's start with the letter from the advice seeker:
Dear Amy: My wife and I love the beach. We walk on the beach, kayak and picnic, and in the summer we swim. 
When it's hot, and the beach is crowded, my wife invariably asks me, "Are you checking out that girl in the bikini?"
I always say no, which is a lie she sees right through. An argument ensues, dampening our otherwise beautiful day.
I am in my 50s. I have no delusions of long-term futures with young girls (or anyone else) on the beach, but I love to look at attractive females. I try, apparently unsuccessfully, to be discreet, but my natural instinct is to stand and applaud. I know I sound like a dirty old man, but I doubt I am alone.
So, how can I be honest and not hurt my wife? And can we still go to the beach?
-- Lying on the Beach
This would be my response:
Dear Lying: You're not alone.  First, get a pair of dark, wrap-around sunglasses.  A hat is not enough to protect your eyes from the sun, a lot of which is reflected off the water and sand.  Plus, they'll afford you some privacy from your creepy wife.
Yes, I think your wife is creepy.  Here's a woman who, situated in a relaxing natural environment, is too obsessed with what you're thinking to pay much attention to the limitless sand and surf, the sea breeze, the variety of people.  This tells me that she is way too insecure or she wants to pick a fight with you. 
Here's how I would react.  First I would blatantly admit (without being defensive) that I was checking out the girl in the bikini.  Then I'd follow up with one or more of the following (or something similar): 
“That polka dot bikini she's wearing reminds me of that old song....” (1) And then I'd start to sing the song.
“I wonder if Tommy Hilfiger carries around a bag with her name on it.” 
“Doesn't she work at the library/coffee shop/drug store/church?” 
“Don't get jealous.  She's not at all my type – she's just too old.” 
But then it's important to follow up with, “Why do you ask?”  Not gruffly, or with an annoyed tone, or as a “piss-off” type of reprimand.  Ask with genuine concern.  Because it's a very good question.  Why is she so tuned in to you in this wonderful environment? 
And what's so bad about looking at a woman who is essentially walking around in brightly-colored underwear, which is precisely what a two-piece bathing suit is? 
If your wife's erratic behavior continues or gets worse, mention this to her primary care doctor.  She might need the help of an endocrinologist to treat the effects of menopause, or a mental health professional to deal with insecurity. 
Note that while I'm siding with you, it's under the assumption that:
  1. You're only looking and not actually standing and applauding, nor are you fondling yourself, or whistling, or making lewd comments like, “Ooo, what a piece of ass...”
  2. You're not checking out young girls but rather young women.
(1) Don't try this on a nude beach.

Here's the advice seeker's letter but with some minor changes:
Dear Amy: My husband and I love the beach. We walk on the beach, kayak and picnic, and in the summer we swim. 
When it's hot, and the beach is crowded, my husband invariably asks me, "Are you checking out that guy in the Speedo?" 
I always say no, which is a lie he sees right through. An argument ensues, dampening our otherwise beautiful day. 
I am in my 50s. I have no delusions of long-term futures with young guys (or anyone else) on the beach, but I love to look at well-built men. I try, apparently unsuccessfully, to be discreet, but my natural instinct is to stand and applaud. I know I sound like a cougar, but I doubt I am alone. 
So, how can I be honest and not hurt my husband? And can we still go to the beach? 
-- Lying on the Beach

In this version of the letter, the husband sounds jealous and maybe a bit possessive and scary.  The first step on the road to being a victim of spousal abuse is to rearrange your thinking and behavior to placate your partner, even if you've done nothing wrong.

Ms. Dickinson's response seemed to imply that the husband was actually standing up and applauding.  She writes, "All 'attractive females' know when they're being checked out. Some may enjoy the attention, but even if they do, the last thing they want on their day at the beach is a round of applause from you."  [My emphasis]  And the title of the web page is "Man at the beach gives bikinis a round of applause."  Huh?

The page also features a video with the caption, "Sexually objectifying girls and women leads to aggression toward them, a recent study has found."  Amy, I look at attractive things -- artwork, flowers, cars, architecture, and, yes, women.  It doesn't mean I want to have sex with them.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Virtual Walk Through Muir Woods

Check out this virtual walk through the woods to "tap into a deeper sense of purpose and well-being with the first VR meditation of its kind—A 360 guided mindfulness practice through Muir Woods National Monument."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170420

I'm not most of this recent weight gain is due to water. The Easter dinner that I went to on Sunday featured only (very salty) pig meat as the animal protein. Well, there's that and the habit of eating ice cream and/or Nutella before bedtime.

Waist = 41.0"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170412

My job has been very hectic lately. I've had no time to get tea or coffee for the past few days. And after I drink all the water in my 24 ounce water bottle, I don't go for a refill. Today my employer sprang for lunch, but all that was left when I got to the cafeteria two hours later was salad. So I suppose that's what's keeping my weight from increasing, 'cause it sure ain't the Nutella!

Waist = 40.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170405

Yesterday when I woke up at about 5am I decided to try to go back to sleep. But then when I woke up again at 7am, I felt very sluggish, and I had to rush to get things done before leaving for work. I woke up at 5am again this morning, but I decided to get up and stay up. I completed my morning chores at a leisurely pace. I thought I'd be extremely tired later in the day, but I didn't dose off, and I'm still able to function.

Waist = 41.25"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170329

While taking 150mg of Nuvigil daily, I find I need to drink less coffee or not at all. That's good because I get a gnawing, empty feeling in my stomach when I drink coffee, and I tend to eat more often to soothe it.

Waist = 40.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170322

Just an FYI.... I'm no longer on the ketogenic diet, not even pretending. It's so hard to find something to eat when I haven't had time to prepare something suitable and bring it with me. I just hope I can maintain the results I've achieved and maybe make occasional small improvements.

Waist = 41.0"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Artsy -- an Online Art Resource

The Michelangelo Buonarroti page on Artsy provides visitors with the artist's bio, over 20 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Buonarroti exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond our Buonarroti page.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170315

I'm a bit disappointed in my weight reading this time. I had been shoveling snow the day before. I expected to lose some water weight at least.

Waist = 40.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dream: Double Broadsword

I'm at the karate studio.  My Sensei is there.  Two young malevolent Asian men show up and challenge Sensei to a fight.  He agrees.  But then the guys say they want to use weapons.  Since he already agreed, Sensei doesn't renege.  I was confident he would beat them before.  But now with the weapons, I'm worried for him.

I see the weapon he will use.  It's a double broadsword whose blades are thin and lightweight.  Each blade is uniquely shaped, as if a sai had been completely flattened.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dream: Soul Mate

My wife and I are walking together on a gravel path after dark.  We are with a group, but walking separate from the group.  The path leads to a church, and because it's late, we decide to walk to the church and go inside.

Once inside, we see a square, walled-off cut out in the floor.  I can see down into the room below.  There is some ceremony or rehearsal involving choir boys.  My wife has climbed the wall, but she has turned into a young blond man with cat-like moves.  He is on hands and knees as he peers down into the room below as if stalking the choir boys.

Now my wife and I are in a large classroom.  In the center two long folding tables are positioned side-by-side.  Craft materials litter the table top.  There are about eight people sitting at the table working on projects.  I sit down to do the project.  I'm supposed to think of an object that would calm me during a crisis or an emergency.  I think of a tree.  I imagine a small green plastic tree, about one inch tall and nearly as wide, with a circular base.  I imagine it so well it's as if I'm actually holding it.

Now I'm in a dark corner of that same room.  I'm aware of the person next to me.  She has short dark hair, and she is giving off a great deal of heat.  I'm very drawn to her, but I hold myself back from getting very close to her.  I'm aware that my wife is still in the room, but I don't know whether she can see us in this dark corner.  The woman drops her hand, placing it into mine.  I immediately lean over and kiss her on the lips.  The sensation is exhilarating – I have found my soul mate.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170308

I started taking Nuvigil about ten days ago. My sleep doctor prescribed it for me to help alleviate the daytime sleepiness that I experience despite using a CPAP machine. One side effect is that it suppresses my sugar cravings. So perhaps I'll find it easy to lose weight. My goal is to dip below 165lb.

Waist = 40.5"
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 28, 2017

Dream: Tree Attack

I'm at home / retreat in the front yard driveway.  Suddenly I notice a rogue tree in the distance to the north.  I'm scared, and I feel personally threatened as if the tree is sentient and intends malice toward me.

I think that this is unbecoming of one who is training to be Enlightened.  The other Buddhas in this retreat would not be afraid, and I should not be either.

Forget that.  I walk quickly around the garage side of the house to the little corner formed by the porch and the garage.  I hope that the tree will attack the other Buddhists and somehow not find me.

Dream: Soured on Car Mechanic

I'm at the car mechanic's shop.  He located a used car for me and is in the process of prepping it.  The owner's son tells me about a pipe that needs to be replaced.  I'm thoroughly dismayed – I don't want to have to do any work on the car.  But I remain stoic.

He takes me into the back and shows me some license plate samples, asking me to choose a color.  The first plate is extremely gaudy, with sunburst / peach on the left side that transitions to blue on the right with a dividing arc near the center.  A second plate is less brilliant.  It's also smaller, less tall.  I pick a blue from the first plate and a letter from the second, which I call blue, but he calls it slate.  With that decided, I make my way out of the place.

I see a large number of cars parked in the lot and a very long table with a white table cloth and stacks of folded cloth napkins.  It looks like a huge dinner party is being set up.  “Why wasn't I invited?” I wonder.  “I'm his biggest customer!”  Oh well.  I shake it off.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Dream: Karate Graduation

I'm in a karate studio.  Kids are playing a board game on the floor.  It has lots of pieces that appear to be little soldiers.  They are separated into four groups by color: blue, green, brown and black.  I step over the playing area to get to the main part of the dojo.

I'm with the other students, sitting against the wall.  We watch as an instructor demos a move: block, punch, take-down.  He tells us to pair off and practice the move.  The boy next to me walks away quickly to find another boy.  I'm left with a lot of girls / women to choose to practice with.  Many of them don't seem interested in working with me.  Finally one agrees.  She has an unusual outfit on.  It's a purple / lavender turtleneck top with a jewel-encrusted oval hole at her throat.  We face each other.  She throws a punch.  I block it, but I don't remember the rest of the move.  Then I throw a punch.  She doesn't remember either.  But it's too late – the practice session is over.

As folks mill about, an instructor announces graduation.  He has a stack of several plastic-bagged uniforms.  He pulls a paper from one and reads my name!  I come forward.  He puts a yellow cap on my head, and people clap.  I've been here only a short time, but I came from another school.

I transfer the stuff from the plastic bag into my black back pack, which is up against the wall we were sitting against.  Now the uniform is dark blue, not yellow.  I put it on.  It's more like a gown, and it has a rigid piece of plastic that covers my throat.  I guess it's meant to protect me.  Some students recognize me and congratulate me.  One says that they won't take it easy on me anymore.  I say that that's a good thing because I'll learn more if I get punched for real.

Dream: Attack of the Green Aerial Disc

I'm outside in a park-like setting on a path. I'm talking on the cellphone with a vendor or client. The guy is telling me that I should try walking while I talk. I jokingly say that I don't think I can, but I start walking anyway. There is light rain in the air.

When I get back to the parking lot, which is about ten feet below the ground level of the path, I see that my car, a grey Ford Escort sedan, is nearly submerged in water. I see that I left the windows halfway open. My black Labrador retriever was in the car, but now he is standing up near the path. Good boy! The red car that was next to mine floats away.

A little while later the water drains away. I get in the car, which is now parked in a different spot, across from its previous spot further from the path. I start the car. I wipe the passenger side door on the inside with a towel. I can see the previous parking spot in the rear view mirror. Water is gushing into the parking lot at that point. I get the car out of there.

Now I'm standing back up near the path. I decide to look for even higher ground. I find a small green hillock to stand on. Now I see a huge wave of rough green liquid flowing slowly toward me, about two stories high. It appears to be made of water and grass clippings. Other people are crowded together with me. The wall of green liquid stops just before it gets to us as if it solidified.

Now there's a wall of it blocking our view in that direction. But up in the sky right above us a huge ball of the green liquid shoots up and begins to fall. It lands right next to us. It make me wonder if the hillock we're standing on was made by a previous ball of green liquid that fell from the sky.

I feel less safe on the hillock so I decide to walk around. I feel that we're being targeted. The waves of floods have formed walls and corridors between the walls. I walk through these corridors toward the source of the flood. I see a green grassy disc in the sky. It has an opening that I presume the green liquid comes out of. The disc is hovering and rotating several degrees back an forth like an oscillating fan. The orifice is pulsating slightly.

Now I'm inside a public building, like a rest stop. There are a few other guys with me. We realize that the town / country / earth is under attack. We storm out of the building to stop the attack.

[I wake up to the song "Merry Old Land of Oz" from the Wizard of Oz.]

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170216

I'm no longer trying to stay in ketosis, but I continue to eat meals that have lower than typical carbs and low-glycemic, to boot. I'm trying to sleep more, and breathe more, because there's only so much you can do with diet if you're not sleeping and breathing well.

Waist = 40.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170201

Suddenly we find ourselves in February.

Waist = 40.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chanting for World Peace and Happiness

If you've ever thought about praying for world peace or happiness, today of all days would be a good day to start.

Below is a link to a page with videos that describe one Buddhist practice of chanting.

Please try it.  Or pray in your own way.  Everyone's contribution counts!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Macronutrients Charts for Beef and Fish

Maria Emmerich of "Maria Mind Body Health" has posted charts that show macronutrients for various cuts of beef and for various types of fish and seafood.  You can find them on her website here:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170112

Last night I made the Pizza Sticks recipe from Maria Emmerich's "Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking." It was so good I ate the whole thing! That's two eggs, 1 entire 8oz stick of cream cheese, 4oz of mozzarella, not to mention the toppings. Uhhgg

Waist = 40.75"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sweet Mayo Experiment

We did some entertaining over the holidays.  My wife refused to serve the homemade mayonnaise I keep on hand, so we bought and offered the guests a popular commercial brand.

I tried some of it out of "professional curiosity."  Gosh, it was so sweet!  A glance at the ingredients list confirmed my suspicions:  sugar was the sixth ingredient.  Yet it's still nearly all fat.

I was curious if I could make a "sweet" batch of mayonnaise.  I decided to use 100% pure maple syrup so that the recipe would still be paleo if not ketogenic.  I added only a teaspoon of the maple syrup to the other ingredients.  Sure enough, that little bit of sweetener altered the taste to make it seem more like the popular mayo that sounds like "Bell Menz".

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday Weigh-In 20170104

First weigh-in of 2017 shows that I gained about 2.5lbs over the holidays. Too many carbs! Time to get back on track.

Waist = 40.25"
Height = 5' 9"

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome to 2017

I've never been a big celebrant of the New Year.  So this is just a quick, low-key message just within the threshold of 2017....

Third-party tracking scripts have been removed  from this blog.  They were slowing down this site, and I wasn't using their results anyway.  Good riddance.  As this site is hosted by Google, I can't guarantee that every script has been removed; you can expect to see various Google-esque content loaded into your browser.  But Google scripts / tracking apparently don't seem to bother users of Web of Trust and similar website police, so I won't concern myself with it.