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Finally, I’m in the land of Esselstyn

I’ve been exploring more controlled and directed ways of eating for several years. I’ve tried, monitored, created my own, monitored, etc. Finally, I’ve settled on my forever way of eating and it is the plan promoted by Caldwell Esselstyn. It’s taken me about one year to fully transform my habits to make eating this way second nature. Most people eat what they eat out of habit and I’m no different. Today’s milestone was giving up my beloved Quorn Naked Filets. Goodbye sweet fungus. I loved you.

I’ve had a great deal of self-doubt during this transition. Could I maintain this way of eating? I fell off the wagon twice in the last 6 months but it wasn’t a serious fall. The better I felt, the easier it was to maintain.  Yesterday, I was watching three young men from the Destination Imagination gathering ordering up their foot longs at Subway and I felt a gagging physical revulsion as I watched their sandwiches being prepared. I had made it over the hill and I don’t ever need to turn back again.

During the transition period, I have had several bouts of acute allergic dermatitis.  It was so bad at one point that I had to visit a physician and get an injection of ‘roids.  Tracking down the culprit was made easier because I was gradually eliminating things from the diet. The first hypothesis was a new lotion I was using but, on retest, it was not the problem. The problem was Fage yogurt. It was the last dairy product that I was eating. I am mildly allergic to milk (not intolerant, really allergic) but I had never had problems with hives from milk. Perhaps it was something in the live culture but I was a red itchy mess on and off for two months. No more dairy ever for me.

I’ve felt for many years that my body was a ticking bomb. My brother had a heart attack at a relatively early age.  He didn’t have any of the danger signs. I’ve never eaten as badly as he has during his life but I fear it could happen to me, too.  I don’t want that.  It is too late for him but it isn’t too late for me to change. Change is good.

If anyone out there is considering eating this way, it’s not that hard to do. This plan got some press when Bill Clinton said he was following it. It was difficult for most of the planet to think of Bill Clinton as a vegan but Bill Clinton is a smart guy and he read the literature. He knew he could die or he could change. He changed.

I can tell you this:  I feel much much better. My only health issue is osteoarthritis in my knees.  Curiously, after the elimination of dairy, my knees started to feel better. This could be coincidence but it is something I recorded in my notebook.  I didn’t have blood pressure or cholesterol problems when I started to transition. I’m going to get a blood panel done in about six months after I have been absolutely true to the Saint Esselstyn.

A new documentary on this plan is in theaters now. It’s called Forks Over Knives. Go watch it but, please, don’t eat the theater food.

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May 28, 2011   No Comments

WordPress Pharma Hack

Did the WordPress Pharma hack hit you? It hit me on all of my sites and it’s been a nightmare. The clearest and simplest set of directions that I’ve found to fix this is from Pearsonified.

I want to suggest that anyone trying to fight this also install the WordPress “Clean Options” plugin.  I wish I had found it earlier. Using this plugin greatly simplifies recovering from the Pharma Hack.

May 25, 2010   No Comments

Harry Markopolos Testimony before Congress – CNN Missed It

I hope everyone listened to Harry Markopolos yesterday testify about Madoff before Congress. He was brilliant. He was exactly right about what to do with the SEC. He said put all 3500 employees on the street and let the New York State Attoney General enforce securities law. He said there had been no federal enforcement for the last eight years. He had lots to say and he said it all well. The entire testimony is available on CSPN3.

No one can deny that this was an important bit of history. Markopolos was testifying about the biggest bilking of investors in the history of the world. Every news organization covered it. MSNBC broadcast the event live. Tell me why this event did not exist for CNN. There was no coverage. It’s as if it never happened. I find this very strange and a very disturbing editing of world events.

February 5, 2009   No Comments

You are The Boss… which team would you hire?

Someone posted this on Newsweek after an article reporting on Sen. Chuck Hagel’s comments that Palin isn’t qualified.

With America facing historic debt, multiple war fronts, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, skyrocketing Federal spending, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc. etc., this is an unusually critical election year.  The idea of “leadership” must be broadened from mere “experience” to include knowledge, learnedness and insight.

Let’s look at the educational background of your two options:

Occidental College – Two years.
Columbia University – B.A. political science with a specialization in international relations.
Harvard – Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

University of Delaware – B.A. in history and B.A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law – Juris Doctor (J.D.)


United States Naval Academy – Class rank 894 of 899

Hawaii Pacific University – 1 semester
North Idaho College – 2 semesters – general study
University of Idaho – 2 semesters – journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College – 1 semester
University of Idaho – 3 semesters – B.A. in journalism

Now, which team are you going to hire ?

McCain is bad but Palin is pitiful. She has the resume for the night manager at a fast food restaurant. This shows very clearly that the republicans do not have any ethical and moral standards. They’ll promote anyone for office if they think it might give them a chance to maintain power.

September 18, 2008   No Comments

Are We Entering an Economic Depression?

I’ve written about this before and noted the similarities between what is happening now and what has happened in the past but I’m no economist. I can’t speak as an expert but the things I’m seeing now are reminding me of what my father said to the TV in the early 80s. When Reagan became president and the safeguards put in place during the last economic depression in the 1930s started to fall the by way, my father, while watching a news report on the topic, pounded his fist on his recliner and said, “Those bastards, they’re going to make it all happen again.” I think my dad was right.

The republicans have systematically deregulated our financial institutions and said repeatedly that the market will regulate itself. I’m sure it will but how many people will be ruined in the process? The market is not a deity. The market is people. People are greedy. People make mistakes. People cheat. To protect the innocent, we built a system of laws and regulations. This system has been destroyed over the last 30-40 years. We have a disaster.

How much is it going to cost the individual to save these failing institutions? How many millions will the CEOs make at our expense? I don’t think I can count that high. People need to wake up and read the history books. What’s happening is not new. It’s happened before. Our leaders, in the past, made laws to protect us from this happening again. The Neo-cons disabled those protections.

An article I read yesterday makes an important point about what is happening. The article asks, why isn’t anyone being led away from these institutions in handcuffs? From the First Post:

The enduring image of Wall Street’s last systemic scandal, the insider-trading crimes of the mid-1980s, was that of a young trader sobbing as he was led off the trading floor in handcuffs. As the tears dribbled down onto his red braces, his peers gazed on in both pity and terror that they might be next.

Those guys stole a few million. The current Wall Street criminals are stealing billions and it’s going to come right out of the common citzen’s pocket. The article continues:

…They built a pyramid scheme of debt, charging fees for every misguided layer they added until they lost sight of what was going on at the foundation: bad loans being issued to people who should never have been borrowing to buy assets they could not realistically afford.

And so where are the handcuffs? The trials? The plea bargains for just a few months in a country club jail? Nowhere.

How can it not be a crime to mismanage a business to the point where the US Treasury has to step in with more than £100bn in taxpayer funded credit lines, as it did with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? Or to tell investors that your business was robust, even as it was disappearing down the plughole, as Lehman’s executives did? At what point does incompetence become so disastrous it turns criminal?

Why is no one in the government or in the media discussing criminal prosecution of the folks involved in these scandalous failures?

And, the answer to the question I posed here? Are we entering an economic depression? I think we are. I think the war debt and the financial market melt down combined with the overpopulation of the planet are creating the perfect storm. I think we’re looking at very hard times ahead.

September 17, 2008   No Comments

Sarah the Barracuda Palin – She Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

I’m going to go out on a limb. I’m guessing that McCain chose this big haired chickee-do without reading any of the background gathered on her and that almost no background was gathered on her because no one thought he would actually pick this refugee from a trailer park. We know he can’t use a cell phone. We know he can’t use a computer. I’ve heard it said from a former Viet Nam era pilot that there were serious questions about whether he knew how to fly a plane. Now, I think we can conclude that either he doesn’t know how to read or he would rather not be bothered with facts. I’m also guessing that they didn’t know the kid was pregnant. I have one more guess. Guess number three is that the husband is having an affair. I’m pulling this out of thin air but it would consistent with everything else we know about this family. Here’s a guy who races snow mobiles. He has no intellectual interests and his wife has soaring ambition. I’m betting he has a big-haired waitress on the side.

In the factual realm, more is coming out on Palin. The New York Times reports today that she was a member of the Alaska Independence Party. Woo Hoo. That’s a group of total nutters. Also, hubby has a DUI on his record. From the New York Times:

Aides to Mr. McCain said they had a team on the ground in Alaska now to look more thoroughly into Ms. Palin’s background. A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice. The campaign was still calling Republican operatives as late as Sunday night asking them to go to Alaska to deal with the unexpected candidacy of Ms. Palin.

Apparently, McCain didn’t even meet with Palin until a day or so before the nomination. He was hoping to have Lieberman, aka Pfizer Own’s Me, on the ticket. McCain had the arrogance and stupidity to nominate a total know nothing idiot to the second highest office in the country without bothering to find out anything about her and I think that means there is more fun to come. The ultimate fun will come if McCain has to withdraw her nomination.

September 2, 2008   No Comments

Does Anyone Remember This Show? Orson Bean, Phyllis Diller and Barbra Streisand

I have a very dim memory of seeing this show as a little kid. I remember seeing Streisand singing Sleepin’ Bee and thinking she looked like a Siamese cat.

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July 29, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooter Identified

The shooter has been identified as someone named “Jim D. Adkisson”. There aren’t any other details about him at this time. He’s being held on $1M bail and is charged with first degree murder. Apparently, several people were filming in the church at the time of the shooting and that material is being reviewed by police and the FBI.

July 27, 2008   No Comments