plato caligula lucifersam apollo

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Separated at Birth - Cold War Revisited

boris and natasha are john mccain and sarah palin separated at birth - oh no bullwinkle, says rocky, she eats mooseburgers - not to mention she got her degree in moscow, says bullwinkle;

John McCain and Sarah Palin are Boris and Natasha Separated at Birth. "Oh no, Bullwinkle," says Rocky, "She eats Mooseburgers!" "Not to mention she got her journalism degree in Moscow!*" says Bullwinkle. *Sarah Palin received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. Copyright 2008 by Ann Stretton/ with thanks to Stan Starbuck for the Moscow reminder, and of course, Jay Ward.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Political Metaphor

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what the Republican VP choice reminds me of, and finally it just came to me as I was sifting through e-mail from both Apple and other products:

It's like when Steve Jobs and Apple comes out with something new and innovative and never-been-done before, and there's Bill Gates lurking around the corner, waiting for their next move so he can one-up them with something gimmicky for the Windows OS...but it just won't work as well as Apple, and he (John Bill Gates McCain) knows it, but he also knows it will sell, even if the system will crash.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Hate The Food Network or Whatever It Is.

I'm sitting in the Dentist's Office waiting for Stan...just in case I have to drive him home. They have a TV on. I never thought I'd say this, but gimme the traditional dentist office elevator muzak. This TV is provoking me to want to commit horrible crimes. It's on the food network or something. The happy homemaker suburban woman was bad enough (at least it wasn't Rachel Ray) but now they have a southern woman on cooking "ribs and kraut" (barf) speaking in a really thick southern accent and she keeps saying "y'aowl". I want to strangle her, but she's just a digitally projected image and sound. I hate her. I don't know her, but I hate her. I hate her. She is really irritating. Fortunately I brought my laptop along...I got some work done, but I have to do some creative copywriting and it is impossible to do that because I need to think and this is really interfering with my ability to do anything but very simple tasks. Anthony Bourdain would really hate these shows. Can someone switch this to MSNBC? I think the receptionists like this stuff. This is why I work at home.


Bugs and Software

Monday I woke up feeling like hell and have basically felt like hell for the entire week. I don't know what I got...some bug...

achey stomach - check
headache - check
achey throat /neck - check
sore eyes - check
cough - check
sneezing - check
runny eyes - check
sore throat - nope
inability to sleep - check
mild laryngitis - check
runny nose - nope
fatigue - check
muscle aches - nope

So essentially the symptoms I usually get in the winter when I have a cold--sore throat, runny nose and muscle aches--are missing from this summer bug, but I have everything else. I've been staying in bed trying out software on my new MacBookPro. I bit the bullet and ordered an upgrade to Photoshop CS3 while I can...before they don't allow upgrades from version 7 anymore (like they did with Illustrator...the latest version I have is 9, and the cutoff for upgrades is 10...I have to buy a whole new damn CS3 version! Damn!!!!)

I felt really awful Tuesday night as we listened to the Democratic Convention on the radio in the bedroom. I haven't even felt like getting up and going to the living room and watching TV...OD'd on that during the Olympics. Yesterday I felt fairly good in the morning and got a lot done and thought we could go for a bike ride, but by the time Stan got home I was lying flat in bed again. So I used that time to download a demo of iWorks. iWorks has taken the place of Appleworks since about 2005 when they stopped supporting AW and have taken off all mention of it from their site, other than stating they don't support it.

Gone are the Paint and Draw modules that came w/AW. No big loss...they were like MacPaint and MacDraw from 1985 (which I used a lot during my free time at Kinko's)...I mean, it would be silly for me to use those apps now except to affect 80s computer art. Gone also is the Database module. Now *that* will be sorely missed. I used that every day as a checkbook transaction tracker and I kept track of all my sales and expenditures for tax records. iWork has no equivalent database program.

AW's Presentation module (which I never used) is now iWork's Keynote which looks a lot slicker, and from what I read, blows MS's PowerPoint out of the water. I don't know if I'd use it, but maybe I could figure out how to make SWFs of art or jewelry or something. I don't make presentations (images of polyester suited people with briefcases, pointers, and pie charts), but maybe something automatic and artistic for the web might be nice since I never really could figure out Flash much and never upgraded past version 4 (too technical).

AW's word processing module is now iWork's Pages, and AW's spreadsheet is now iWork's Numbers. I made use of AW's spreadsheet in a most unusual way. Visit any of my jewelry pages, either my main page or the pages on the left navigation bar (not the individual item pages). The listings of jewelry items with the thumbnails was all done with with AW's spreadsheet. It was so easy to organize jewelry listings that way, shuffle and sort items, alphabetize long lists, delete sold items and add new items. It would have been hell to do that in BBEdit (my HTML program of choice...yes, I raw code, can you believe it?), so I just constructed a sort of "container" page with Server Side Includes and have the included content in the spreadsheet. When it came time add the new content, I'd just make my changes on the spreadsheet and export it out as ASCII text. Unfortunately, I found out quickly that wasn't too clean as it put in tabs between columns. So after the export I had to open it up in BBEdit and clear out the tabs. I know, kind of cludgey, but it was the only way I knew to deal with it, and it was certainly much more efficient and error-free than if I would've created the whole list of items into one BBEdit HTML file. That would have been a nightmare trying to sort out. I know there's database (Filemaker?) programs out there that can probably do that automatically, but I have absolutely no idea how to run anything like that on my server, and no one to show me how either. I thought this was rather ingenious that I figured out as much using AppleWorks's Spreadsheet.

With System OS X 10.5 and our new Intel-based Macs, Appleworks is showing signs of breaking. Nothing major, but when I try to export an ASCII file as .txt, it won't add the .txt or it adds two periods, or something weird. Not as smooth a workflow as I'd like. That's why I wanted to check out iWorks. But iWorks' Numbers, despite many improvements, doesn't export TXT files. It doesn't even export RTF (Rich Text). Just PDF, CSV and XLS. PDF is's graphical, not text. And either CSV or XLS put in a whole bunch of commas and quoted everything that cannot be removed with one quick search and replace in BBEdit. It does import my old AppleWorks spreadsheets nicely, however. Exporting is another matter. But I'll get to that later. Then I figured out that iWork's Pages *can* export plain text. I cobbled together a spreadsheet-like table setup in Pages that worked fairly well and exported clean text (except for tabs...face it, if you have tabular data, tabs are a fact of life in exported table text). But it wasn't...right. I kept having to adjust the height of the rows when I added and deleted data. It didn't look as neat and clean as a real spreadsheet.

Then I was playing around this morning with Numbers and found out I could have multiple spreadsheets in one document! I have a couple dozen spreadsheets for my jewelry content...that would be convenient to have them all in one file. Then I also figured out that I could select a spreadsheet and copy/paste it into BBEdit. It copies it clean (with tabs, of getting around that) with none of that gunky comma quote CSV/XLS garbage. How sweet is that? I can already use pre-existing BBEdit text files...just delete the existing content and cut/paste from Numbers the new content...that way I don't have to create a new text file and accidentally misname it, search/replace tabs and voila! That even sounds BETTER than the individual spreadsheets with AppleWorks and the exporting. Fewer steps, fewer files.

Now as far as the checkbook register and income and expenditures tax info lists that we use AW's Database for...I downloaded a simple transaction tracker template that works in Numbers. Nothing fancy, but it WORKS, and I guess that's the point of the aptly named software, huh? $99 for a family pack so we can both use it on our laptops...not bad. Sure beats the price of a Photoshop Upgrade.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Little Park

Exhausting ride, and the longest to date. On Glacial Drumlin we went from Switzke Road (between Johnson Creek and Helenville, small convenient parking area right by the trail there) to Helenville and beyond, down to Pohlman County Park--just a little side of the road park--where we sat on the ground under tall trees and listened to birds and caught our breath and applied my homemade all natural insect repellents. There was parking and a picnic area and a stinkless modern outhouse. A bit over 3 miles one way, so a bit over 6 miles total, on probably the worst trail condition of the route...lots of loose gravel, gopher holes and unmown weeds. Since it was a very clear, sunny Colorado day--which Wisconsin is getting more and more of--my face was a nice odd collection of red and green hues after we were done. I fell asleep in the car on the way home. BTW, when we went biking Thursday through Mount Horeb in the rain and mist, my face didn't turn any colors. It was either due to it being cooler, or to the fact there was no sun. I blame the sun, personally.

I have a doctor's appointment in the middle of September. If my lack of bird and mammal flesh compounded with the bike rides has not shown a lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol, then I'm just a hopeless genetic case. I have a fear, however, that's what it will be. It'd be great if it wasn't, but I fear that whatever I try to do to change it, it won't. Genetics can't be stopped.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Art Critique

Awesome. The Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator

A no truer facsimile of an art critique has ever been generated.

You know, the older I get, the more I think the whole construct of art as something that can be quantified and deconstructed is just BS.

I just love playing with this thing.

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The Trollway

Just a short note on the biking. Tuesday went from Towne Halle Roade in Springdale (Pistol Packin' Pat's haunts, Stan...maybe it was that Republican Fortress Compound we saw, eh?) to Waltz Park in Mount Horeb. Uphill ALL the way. I guess it was about 1.5 miles one way. Rode back without pedaling ONCE. Whee.

So does one expend more energy round trip going up a hill and then going downhill going back, or does one expend more energy going the same distance but flat both ways? First scenario you're expending a lot of energy at first, but then none the way back, second scenario you're expending equal amounts of energy both ways, but not as heavily as going uphill. I wish someone knew.

Yesterday I stopped of at the Mount Horeb post office beforehand, and ironically, I was mailing something to Norway. "Ooooh, it's going to Norway" said the postl worker. Mount Horeb is the troll capitol of...Wisconsin? USA? The World? Heavy Norwegian influence.

So we went from Waltz Park through the entire distance of the town. I figured that was almost 3 miles one way, probably about 2.75 or something. It was so much fun, probably the most fun bike ride I ever did. Sometimes when we go on these country trails, it gets a bit repetitive...trees, prairies, marshes, farm equipment, farm, rinse and repeat. But because this was going through a town, there was a lot of varied sites to see. It was also misting, so we were getting rather wet, and dusty, so we were covered with this veneer of trail dust attached by moisture. The trail went high above the city in some parts, as it was a former railroad bed. We ended up at the end of business highway 151 at the intersection of 78. Next time, we'll head toward Blue Mounds, probably next week some time.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Olympics

Maybe I'm stupid, but I just don't get baseball. I don't get the scoring. I find watching it on tv during the Olympics boring. I know it's this big loved all-American game, but I just don' get it. Maybe I just wasn't raised in baseball culture. My grandfather liked baseball...played on some team, either at his job or just for fun. He was a typical farmboy union worker Wisconsin guy who played poker and went to bars to talk to the guys and died of a stroke at 68. But I never knew my grandfather. Died when I was about 2 or 3. Had he lived, he would've taken me fishing. I never had anyone to take me fishing. I always wanted to go fishing as a kid.

I love watching the or beach. I hated playing it in school, but love watching it. I love watching the other sports, even though I can't do them. Ping pong, yeah, I can do that. I got pretty good when I was a teenager. Played against myself a lot with the table turned halfway up. I wish we had room for a ping pong table now. Our house is small and cramped.

Oh and synchronized swimming...what's up with that? Now although I personally don't understand baseball or the whole mystique surrounding it, I still don't think it should be *eliminated* from the Olympics. Synchronized Swimming looks like a throwback to the 1940s. Why isn't it being cut? Certainly more people the world over love Baseball than Synchronized Swimming. It's just one of those cringe-inducing sports to watch. It's sort of a drama queen girly girl thespian thing...but not my thing, and I don't think I'm in the minority on that.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Traditional Nightmare DREAM

We had a large 55 gal. aquarium that was filled with a few strange creatures that sort of looked like large smooth-skinned caterpillars. As I looked through the cage these creatures mutated into lizards, and then larger lizards and then larger and larger until a couple lizards nearly filled up the entire cage. They were about the size of a monitor lizard. These lizards looked vicious, with very large rose thorns, except proportionately larger. I wanted to get the large lizards out of the cage so they wouldn't crowd the smaller ones. Stan was trying to grab them, but they kept lunging toward our cat, Apollo, and I was afraid that they could grab him in their jaws. We pulled one of the lizards out and our Boston Terrier, Plato, started to sniff its head. I was afraid the lizard would hurt Plato too. Then Stan took the lizards outside. He was just going to leave them out there, exposed to the Wisconsin elements. We had a sliding glass door, which we do not have on our house IRL, and I had accidentally left it open and Apollo got out. He was just hanging out in the yard, but I was scared that I had been so negligent. We put him back him, and my body was filled with terror from these very scary lizards and how they were endangering the well-being of my animals.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Biking and New MacBook Pro

Today we went from County Road Y outside of Johnson Creek to Switzke Rd. It was a very hot and humid day, and according to my calculations (find map in Mapquest, take Picture in Safari, Open it up in Photoshop, use the measuring tools to determine distance) it was about 1.9 miles one way. Stan thought it felt like over 4 miles. Both of us were pretty tired later in the day.

I have my new Macbook Pro. Except for the obvious (can't run Photoshop in Classic to use my favorite plugins and will need to run CS3--that is, when I do eventually upgrade--in Rosetta [Power PC emulation for the Intel processor] when I'm using it in "artistic mode" [i.e., when I'm making art as opposed to using it just to process photo files] in order to use even OS X compatible plugins) the computer is GREAT!

Well, that's not all. This computer is hot

What, stolen?

No, hot, really hot. We're sweating like pigs, man.

Maybe I better check the trunk for dead aliens from Roswell.

It also gets to be quite weighty on my legs, not because it's heavier (it actually seems lighter than my G4 iBook), but because of the weight distribution. All of the weight seems to be in the rear (see, it's the aliens in the trunk!) where it rests on my legs toward my knees.

They did a migration from my deceased G4 Desktop, so I have all my files, which I'm now filing away and will archive (I should've done that years ago), so all my email was set up already...none of that hassle.

I put my G4 ibook up in the retirement zone upstairs so I can use it with my 19" monitor. It works well that way.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Town and Country

This afternoon we took Klevenville (County P) to Towne Hall Rd. outside of Mt. Horeb. I was wondering what was wrong with me, or my bike, because it kept getting harder and harder to ride it and I felt like I had to downshift all the time. It was uphill, duh...I just couldn't see it is all. I didn't know how much more it would continue uphill, so we headed back after not that long a distance. Going back we hardly had to pedal. We were trying to see how far we could get without pedaling...we *almost* made it back to where we started but not quite. It was sort of like when Kramer and the carsalesman were trying to find how long they could go without gassing up. After that ride, I felt I hadn't ridden enough...I wasn't satisfied. So in the evening we rode from home to a little pier/walk along Lake Mendota, then back across the isthmus to Lake Monona and back home. I think this is the most I've ridden in one day. Riding on city bike paths and streets is much more pleasurable energy- and comfort-wise than the limestone gravel country bike paths. But then again country bike paths have other obvious advantages.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Apollo is Stood Up by His Squirrelfriend


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death in the "Family"

...of Computers. Yup. 2001 G4 Quicksilver Desktop is dead. Yesterday the Apple guy opened it up, tried a few things, looked a little puzzled, asked me how old it was, entered a few things on his computer, looked up information, etc. He said it could be the logic board or the cpu, both of which I would've paid to fix, however because it's over 7 years old, they can't even get PARTS anymore. Planned obsolescence. So I decided to go for broke (literally) and invest in a 15-inch MacBook Pro. I'm not getting another desktop...too bulky, too stationary. I already have two extremely elderely "beige" computers lying around in the computer nursing home that I don't know what to do with since it costs money to recycle appliances and computers in this town, and I am just a little hesistant to give them up. I guess if I get desperate to use certain Photoshop filters I can still start up the 1998 model...oh the pain of slowness.

The laptop I'm currently using will either be used upstairs where my late G4 desktop used to be, and hook it up to its former monitor, or I'll use the new one upstairs. I haven't decided yet. I don't even have the new one yet because they were booked up this afternoon with appointments, and I can't go tomorrow (Stan has a doc visit) so it won't be until Thursday.

That poor old desktop...I had so many sad things associated with it. When I first got it early August 2001, OS X was still so new, I would just stare at the monitor and feel confused by it all. Then in June 2002, a few days before my birthday, I accidentally wiped the hard drive out by doing something stupid, installing software that I didn't understand would wipe my hard drive clean. I spent days in a deep depression after that since I was unable to salvage some files I hadn't backed up. I felt my life had been deleted. Then in January 2005 the hard drive started slipping, so I had to have the hard drive replaced, fortunately they were able to salvage the files. And then this.

So now I can slowly transition to Leopard and an Intel Mac. My obvious reluctance has been software-based which young people who don't use vintage Photoshop plug-ins that aren't available for Intel Macs don't comprehend.

Well, I could write more about this, but I'm pretty depressed.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Glacial Drumlin and Computer Problems--again

I decided I'd keep a journal of all the bike rides I take for future reference. I sort of neglected to do that for much of the recent part of the Glacial Drumlin.

Today we went from "Popp Rd" which is SE of Lake Mills (near Aztalan), across County Rd N, underneath State Hwy 26, then it paralleled 26 for a while until it ended @ West Junction Rd. just outside of Jefferson. It was 4.5 miles round trip. Although it shows that on the official map, it doesn't show it ending abruptly like that on Mapquest, so we were really confused. I guess you can get back to it by riding on Junction Rd. and then taking Y, but that's a lot of rutty country roads with not much curb and no bike lane. So we'll skip that part and pick it up, maybe next weekend, where it begins again on Y as it heads toward Helenville, where I've never been before.

I'm really tired, probably from the Claritin I took yesterday and the Lorazepam I took last night so I could sleep from the Claritin.

Stan takes his bike in to be repaired tomorrow, my desktop computer died so I have to take it in after he gets home, and Stan has a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, so we might not get much riding in early this week. My poor computer. I have no clue what happened. It's depressing.

I know 4 and 5 mile treks may seem miniscule to many reading this, but keep in mind that I *never* rode that much even when I was in my teens and 20s and rode every day and depended on my bike as my ONLY form of transportation (other than city busses in bad weather, and of course, walking). Back then in the prehistoric ages, there weren't such things as recreational bike paths, so one just used city streets. Before starting to ride a year ago, I hadn't ridden for approx. 18 years or so. I owned no bike during that time. So it will take me quite a while, at 47, to get up to speed, as low as that speed may be.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008


Is it just me or are some of the Olympic athletes in certain sports overdressed? Case in point: In Women's Beach Volleyball they were wearing bikini bottoms (or whatever they were called) and matching sports bra top (sorry I'm really bad with fashion descriptions mostly because I really don't care about this stuff except when it comes to comfort). Now this seemed normal sportswear for the sport and the weather. However for the Men's Beach Volleyball, they had long baggy shorts and tops that just seemed waaaayyy too high up on the neck considering the temperatures outside. They looked very overheated in those clothes. I swear I've watched other Olympics where the Men's Beach Volleyball players were basically shirtless except for little loose whispy things that showed your team color, name and number. But full-length sport shirts with such high necklines? Why? I feel in pain watching them. Fortunately, the weather is nice here today, except my allergies and various Stan health problems are preventing us from biking today.

Also the swimmers...the men were wearing suits that went down the entire leg and covered their torsos. Why? And the women's tops on their suits had stranglingly high neckholes. Aaack. Now is there an aerodynamic explanation for this? It just seems a little overdressed to me, but then again, I'm thinking about comfort rather than the physics of sports performance.

I know if it was me there, I would've died of heatstroke just marching in on the opening ceremonies...but then again I'm not an athlete....and I would've had heatstroke as a pre-teen at 60 pounds as well as at 47 at 160 pounds....would make no difference as to my age or weight.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Desmond Dream!

Finally I had a dream with Desmond! This one had an incredible amount of LOST elements in it, however they were very surreal and much different than actual LOST elements. I dreamt we were in a basement-like building (the Hatch?) that was in the antarctic (the Listening Station with the Portuguese-speaking guys in contact with Penny?) and only accessible by going underwater (the Hydra?). We were going to have to stay there for a few months, just me and him, and we were trying to figure out where we were going to sleep. There wasn't a lot of stuff looked a lot like my parents' laundry room except larger and starker and scarier. There was a duct that was a couple feet wide, and we figured we would have to sleep on that because we would get heat that way since it would be very cold. We would also have to sleep together (on a 2-foot wide duct). I was hoping he would get excited about being down there with me for such a long time and not be thinking about Penny all the time.

In the dream there was also something about eating out of a bowl (that we'd have to share) that had a dark blue ceramic glaze on it.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Riley to Klevenville

I rode the furthest today, from Riley to Klevenville on the Military Ridge State Trail. And back. Five miles total. Most days I've been hovering around 1-2 miles one way...I don't know what got into me today. It was uphill most of the way to Klevenville, and fortunately, downhill back toward Riley. It's so strange to first see these towns on a bike, rather than having discovered them first via car. Actually, they're not really towns...they're not even incorporated.

In June, I think, I rode the MRST from the trailhead outside Verona, through Fitchburg and up to Madison, and then back to the trailhead. That was about 4 miles, but that was paved. The path I rode today was all limestone gravel except for an unexplained paved part that was maybe 1/6 of a mile or so. We've been taking the MRST on weekdays after Stan gets off work because it's shorter to get there, and saving Glacial Drumlin for the weekends, since we've progressed a lot further down that one and need to drive quite a ways now to pick up where we leave off. On the second leg of our MRST trip we went west from the MRST trailhead through Verona and turned around at (Ninemound?). Day 3 we went from Ninemound Rd. to the hwy 151 tunnel, which was flooded, so we turned around and went back. Then Stan's tooth thing happened so we lost a couple weeks of fun. MRST Day 4 we parked in some pullout close to the Epic Center (giant borg that will swallow Verona...they make healthcare software) and biked back to 151, then back northwest up to Whitecrossing road, then back to our car. Saw a frog sitting in my path, but it hopped away before I could see what kind. That was a long ride for me. Then yesterday, Day 5, we went from Whitecrossing Rd. to the ?town? of Riley. We saw a pair of large cranes (Sandhill Cranes?) coming down for a landing on the Sugar River's wetlands which runs along the bike trail. At first it was so surreal, I thought it was people out in the field flying kites. They were incredible. There was also a little pull-off boardwalk on the trail where you could watch fresh spring water bubble up through the sand/mud. Today, there was another boardwalk with a guide to the various wildlife species found in the area. Lots of frogs...we'll have to come back in the spring.

It's been really nice weather for the past couple days and it should continue into the weekend, when we'll head back to Glacial Drumlin and pick up somewhere southeast of Lake Mills. The past weekends have been hot, so haven't been able to progress too far there. Next week when we go back on the MRST we'll be heading toward Mt. Horeb. I don't think I can make Klevenville to Mt. Horeb in one day. Well, I could, but it'd be a bitch going back, and the 5 miles today made me really tired and my hands were tingling from what Stan says is carpal tunnel...wonderful. It's not the actual riding which makes me tired, but my butt that really starts to hurt the last couple miles. And I'm worried the most about the sun...worried that I'll have a sunstroke. Yesterday we forgot our helmets at home, so we rode without, and although that means I got more sun on my head, I also wasn't turning as many colors as when I wear a helmet. The helmet heats up my head so much, and that's what worries me the most about trying to go really long distances. Plus I'm supposed to avoid the sun because birth control and hydrochlorothiazide meds cause photosensitivity. And I have rosacea (controlled by topical, I don't look scary). So essentially I have like 3 strikes against me. Plus I'm very light skinned. 4 strikes. I'm glad we're at a low sea elevation at least. I'd probably have collapsed from heatstroke if I was back in Colorado doing what I did today.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

That delicious Kosher Bacon-like flavor

Update: OK, you know how I said I would miss the taste of bacon? So I googled to see if Bac'Os have cholesterol. NO CHOLESTEROL!!!! We are totally getting Bac-O flavoured bits at the grocer ASAP!!!

I also noted in a Betty Crocker ad for BacOs is that they're now Kosher. This makes me laugh, because if you are raised in a tradition that practices Kosher food preparation, why would you have the craving for that delicious bacon flavor in the first place? Must be for converts.


It's ok to eat fish 'cause they don't have any feelings

So here's the story...

I'm not lazy, just really busy, so the first part of this entry I'm cut and pasting part of an email I wrote to a friend describing my past couple weeks at the time. By now it would be nearly my past three weeks:

"It's been a strange past couple weeks here. To make a long story extremely short, Stan was in a lot of pain, had a toothache, got a molar pulled last week, now he has to have an implant put in (fortunately it was a back tooth so the gaping hole can't be seen). 

"During this time my life was a living hell...I'm sure his was worse, but I was so worried because he kept putting off seeing a dentist not because he was terrified of seeing a dentist (like I am) but because he didn't want to call in sick to work because they're short staffed. Ugh. Then last Wednesday (the 16th) he came home in excruciating pain, all he was doing was putting ice on it and he wouldn't/couldn't talk and I said "that's it, we're taking you to the emergency clinic." I was a frazzled mess. He wanted me to stop by a local grocer and get some ice before we went because we don't have enough at home. When I came back to the car, he said, "hear me out, the pain is subsiding, I think I can go home now." I said "yeah right!" and proceeded to drive him to the emergency clinic. He's so glad I didn't listen to him now.

"Men can be so bloody stubborn and play that whole macho "I'll be ok!" thing! My dad is the same way.

"He got some pain meds and penicillin from the doctor. I could barely sleep those nights. I kept checking on him to make sure he was alive! Abscesses can kill if not properly treated, and I have no idea how long this had been going on because he told me Monday (the 15th) that he had been having pain "for a couple of weeks." Who knows how long that is in man-years. Fortunately the following day Thursday 17th the 2nd dentist he called (we don't have dental insurance or regular dentists) had an opening the following morning (last Friday) and he got it pulled. He said he felt instant relief. The weird thing was is that the tooth didn't look abnormal, neither did the gums. But according to the dentist he had a crack in the tooth that went all the way down through it to the bone. Stan liked to chew on ice as a kid, so they figured out that's how the crack happened. Who knows how long he's had it before he started feeling the pain. He's been back at work now for a few days (after the extraction he still felt sick and weak as the penicillin was still working on killing the infection). Now his gums are itching, which is a good sign...means the gaping bloody hole is healing.

"Implants are expensive. This sucks. They advised against just getting a crown unless he was 80 years old because the implant will retain integrity in the gum/bone for years to come."

-------------- end copied email

So back on July 14th when this all started when Stan told me that he had a toothache and it hurt a lot, it started me on a worry streak, which made my stomach do somersaults. I go through this whenever a pet gets sick (BTW, it's Apollo-the-demonspawn-kitten's 1st birthday today). Then I started hurting really bad that was far beyond any pain any nervous reaction to a loved one's health condition could ever do. This has happened a couple times before, and the only trigger I could figure out could be possible food poisoning or maybe a reaction to fatty food. It's like a really bad stomach ache that feels like I swallowed a brick lodged in my ribs. There's no nausea (I wish there was so I could throw up), just pain. Pain that won't go away for hours, pain that won't subside by taking antacids or drinking coke or anything. I stayed up all night long because I could not sleep for the pain. It finally subsided by morning. Then when Stan's toothache got much worse a couple days later, I stopped eating altogether due to nerves. I noticed that once I stopped eating, I felt much better. I mean I felt weak and all, but at least my stomach didn't bother me anymore.

Now I don't think this is a gallbladder thing, even though Stan suspected it might be. Certain symptoms didn't fit at all. I wasn't jaundiced, I wasn't nauseated, I didn't have diarrhea (I wish I rid myself of the pain), I didn't have a fever, the pain wasn't only confined to my right side, it didn't hurt worse when I inhaled (actually, it made me feel better, if only for a slight moment), yadda yadda yadda. And it relieved me to find out my mom doesn't have gallbladder problems. But as I was staying up that one night, I was doing research on gallbladders and I know one thing for damn sure: I don't want to have it taken out!

So I decided I'm going to start a preventative measure, and that is to eliminate land animals from my diet because they are the major source of cholesterol which causes gallstones (which I don't want). I originally thought I'd eliminate animals with legs, but crabs and lobsters and crawfish have legs, and they are definitely staying on my menu. Pork? won't miss it. I don't even like pork at all except for ham cold cuts and the taste of bacon. Fowl? won't miss it. Beef? won't miss it, unless it's a really good Black Angus steak from Colorado. Wisconsin's elderly retired dairy cow used shoe leather "beef" is nothing to miss. Lamb? Yeah, I'll miss lamb. Gyros...yumm...Oh well. Animal products? Stan really wants me to eat eggs, but whenever I do, it's not pretty. I like eggs, and the "Egg Beaters" I tried are like eating...uh...I'd rather eat raw tofu. But I just can't eat more than one egg at a time or else problems will ensue. I still use lowfat milk on cereal and in coffee and tea. But I've done a major cut back on cheese. I'll eat as much yogurt as I want. I'll eat a little ice cream now and then in the summer. Rice milk? As much as I's not really "milk," it's a vegetarian product. Fish? Scallops? Mussels? Clams? Sea Urchin? Octopus? Squid? Snails? Cuttlefish? Cockles? No limits, well, the pocketbook is the only limit. And I also won't eat it deep-fried, only broiled, boiled or raw (in the case of prepared sushi). There is no way I could give up sushi, ever, and there's no reason to. Seafood and fish is on a whole different level than land animal. Also, with the price of grain going up, it will start to effect the price of grain eaters, i.e., chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, etc..

There is probably a name for the type of "vegeterian" I am...let's google it to see...

OK, here it is, according to I'm a "Pescaterian." Definition: "Occasionally used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. Although the word is not commonly used and a pescatarian is not technically a vegetarian, more and more people are adopting this kind of diet, usually for health reasons or as a stepping stone to a fully vegetarian diet." No stepping stone to me, I have no plans on being totally vegetarian. I tried being vegetarian about 11 years ago and didn't take well to it. I became very depressed. I can't remember if I cut fish/seafood out at the time. But I think keeping fish and seafood in the mix is good.


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