February 28, 2004
Outta Town Housekeeping
Monday - Bonfire - here, in royal purple glory.
Send your tidbits to bonfire at wizbangblog dot com. And send them NOW. (Please). Can't have a small Bonfire in the middle of winter.
February 26, 2004
Not sure what else to call it, but here's dinner from last night (and lunch today). Sam's Club has these frozen tilapia filets, and so we have some of those, and I wanted to fix them last evening. Tilapia's a very mild fish, so you can really do just about anything with it.
The George Foreman grill made it all happen.
Fresh basil (to taste)
x Tilapia filets (usually two per person - they're tiny)
Pizza sauce (spaghetti sauce would work, too, I'm sure) - either homemade or store bought
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
Mozzarella cheese (skim milk made in our house)
If you're going to be using pasta with this, have the water ready to boil at the point that you begin the other steps.
Heat sauce in microwave for about 6 minutes at 60%. While it's cooking, heat grill. When it's heated, place tilapia filets on grill with mushrooms. Cook about four minutes. While this is occuring, chop basil. When the fish is "done," open the grill's lid, and place the basil on top of the fish. Then add a bit of mozzarella, and cook (without relowering the lid) until the cheese is melted. Remove.
Serve. I didn't combine the sauce with anything - we just dished that up at the table. It's quite tasty and not very caloric.
February 24, 2004
It's Not Your Fault!
Researcher link obesity - yes, obesity - to advertising. I think I spoke too soon about the Death of Personal Responsibility by just giving that to one post. Pile this one in.
WASHINGTON - Thousands of advertisements for candy and sugary foods help fuel the epidemic of childhood obesity in America, a pair of new studies asserts.So, anyone figure in the food that was on-hand in the house for these kids to eat? No. Overweight/obese parents with bad eating habits? Not figured in. Is it winter and your slope's made of metal (and quite profound at a 40 degree angle), and all you need is the water hose?
The Kaiser Family Foundation said in a study released Tuesday that the main mechanism through which the media contributes to childhood obesity is through billions of dollars worth of advertising.
"The number of ads children see on TV has doubled from 20,000 to 40,000 since the 1970s, and the majority of ads targeted to kids are for candy, cereal and fast food," the Foundation said.
It reported that 15.3 percent of children aged six to 11 were listed as overweight in 1999-2000, compared to 4.2 percent in 1963-1970.
Yes, pilgrim, it is, and you do.
The American Psychological Association on Monday called for the government to restrict ads aimed at children under 8.
Dr. Susan Linn, a Harvard psychologist who was a co-author of the APA report, said actions "could include specific restrictions on advertising junk food or toys that promote violence or precocious sexuality."Hey, I got it, since we're talking about TV - how about families monitoring/limiting that? And it look as though children are going to have another "important" age. 8. Before, we had 13 - becoming a teenager. 16 - can be licensed to drive a car. 17 - can get into R-rated movies, 18, no longer a teenager/eligible to vote, and 21 - buy-it-yourself alcohol indulgence.
"Given the developmental vulnerabilities young children have to advertising, however, a prohibition on all marketing aimed at children is the only truly effective solution," said Linn.
Would a law stop children from viewing advertisements for products for which they will develop foodlust? Uh, no.
Can't you people go study cancer or how to prevent divorce or something? Shoo - shoo. You can't fix people, certainly not by legislation; they have to fix themselves.
And just a few moments after I finished this, another related article presented itself. Check this out - TV and Eating Meals Out - they're in collusion to fatify children. That's right, they're collectively a cage into which your child may be trapped. They're "working together."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Excessive television watching and fat-laden fast food menus are working together to make U.S. children fatter and fatter, two separate reports said on Tuesday.You know what's funny - this APPLIES TO THE POPULATION AS A WHOLE, no? Sorry for the shouting.
The reports by non-profit groups, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, were issued a day after the American Psychological Association published a new policy recommending legal limits on advertising aimed at children.
What I do agree with? The CSPI, surprisingly. This is dead on the money.
The CSPI, which publishes frequent reports on the fat and calorie content of popular foods, criticized kid's menus at restaurants that feature deep-fried foods, sugary drinks and calorie-laden desserts.This sister article also mentions that the study doesn't trade time in front of the TV for time that could be spent exercising, choosing rather to lay the blame entirely on advertising. Well, last I checked, time not in front of the TV (like, y'know, exercise) means fewer minutes/hours said studied child or children is not exposed to the advertising. I'm scratching my head here.
Doesn't this all boil down to parents teaching their children such basics as nutrition and a balanced life? No, wait, that's the GOVERNMENT'S job. I'm sorry; I forgot.
Sinking in the Lack of Book Review Sand
So, if you read Brian, you know that he writes a review of every book he reads. Not a bad practice, I do say so myself. Matter of fact, I, too, tried to do the same, and now I find I'm about 12 books behind since the last review I wrote back in November, I believe.. Yes, I read quite a bit, too.
Why does this matter? It matters because Brian gets fun and interesting e-mail from AUTHORS. Yes, seriously, he does. Just yesterday he got a message from the author of this book he reviewed.
And it was nice, an, "oh thanks for reviewing me." He found it while Googling himself, and the text of the e-mail was so cute - almost as if he was embarrassed to be Googling himself. Dude, start a blog! Narcissism. Embrace it. WE ALL GOOGLE OURSELVES. Like, y'know, several times daily. Well, maybe that's only me. [clears throat]
So, up and coming in the next few weeks - reviews for these fine tomes.
- Shut Up and Sing - Laura Ingraham
- Wild Justice - Wilbur Smith
- the substance of style - Virginia Postrel
- The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons
- Ultimate Fitness - Gina Kolata
- Demolition Angel - Robert Crais
- The Sinner - Tess Gerritsen
Then, there's the in progress stack.
- Seizure - Robin Cook
- Split Second - David Baldacci
- cyberselfish - Paulina Borsook
- Ashes to Ashes - Richard Kluger
Then, we have the in-progress books. And, soon, of course, The 50 Best (and Worst) Business Deals
Oh, Linda Barnes, Google yourself. I love your work and was very excited to see that the next Carlotta Carlyle book is out next month (in a couple of weeks! SQUEAL). Very excited indeed. I plan to be in Boston in the next few months; let's do lunch.
I think before I can get Robert B. Parker's attention, Brian and I need to put in a few more mega sessions at the gym so that we can prove to the grand master Parker that we use our copy of Sports Illustrated Training With Weights ever so religiously (well, it is an input...) I'm flipping through the book - yep, very familiar. But in case the venerated Parker is a Google hound, give us a ring, we'll pick up lunch at the Ritz.
I think that's enough obnoxiousness for a morning. No, I must give you one more thing. I have a Book Mark Award (yes, it's spelled that way). It has a grape scratch-and-sniff sticker on it that says "Very Good." It also says "You've Read 25 books." The 25 is written in with red pen.
I'd suspect this book mark (sic) is 20 plus years old. It's signed "Heather I" on the back in cursive. I tend to keep things.
Bonfire of the Vanities
Coming soon to an Angelweave near you. Next week, in fact. Yes, I'll be hosting the Bonfire, fitting, as most of my work of late is worthy.
This week, though, lest I get ahead of myself, the Bonfire's at The Argus.
Oh, and I promise not to use the word "crap." And I don't even like fire. So this could be interesting.
February 23, 2004
John TB Kerry
Okay, this is petty, so don't say I didn't warn you. But it is funny. Robert Prather:
As noted elsewhere, Kerry bears a striking resemblance to Treebeard in both his manner and his looks. In fact, I'll likely be calling Kerry "Treebeard" for the remainder of the year.Robert then proposes a Fark-like photoshop contest, so have at Mr. Heinz.
Back a little over a month ago, Brian made a new curse word in honor of Kerry's f-word proclamation. So if you're in the mood for some more presidential wanna-be humor, check this out, too.
And so in honor of John F. Kerry, indistinguished (some political office holder or another) of (some tiny, self-important coastal state), I introduce johnk, a single syllable which can capture every sort of meaning the f-word can, and with less shock among women and children and definitely more mockery of the Democrat party.hln
February 21, 2004
The Death of Personal Responsibility
In February of 2002, police officers found a total of 32 cats locked in a trailer - left to starve. Eight did; 26 remained alive but in horrible shape. I remember this story and the acute emotional pain it caused me. Purposefully. Starving. Animals. Not turning them loose to fend for themselves when they were no longer useful, but locking them in a structure with no food, no water.
Today's Post-Dispatch reports that the "owner" of these cats was sentenced to probation and a restitution fee of $26,000 to cover the cost of the care of these animals incurred by the Humane Society.
The offender is named Natalie Peplin-Sobelman. Purported human being committed a horrific and evil act; nay, purported human being committed many, many horrific and evil acts. Here are excepts from the story provided today - there's more to it than the suffering of 32 cats.
In February 2002, police found 26 living and eight dead cats in a trailer owned by Peplin-Sobelman. Investigators said the animals were left unattended for weeks. Many survived by drinking melted snow that leaked through the trailer's roof and by eating one another. Three of the rescued cats later died from diseases associated with malnutrition.I agree with Mr. Paden here. Yes, I agree with PETA. Probation. For this.
Weeks later, police discovered an unlicensed dog-breeding facility operated by Peplin-Sobelman. There, authorities found 155 dogs and seized 30 animals suffering from ailments often associated with neglect.
Dan Paden, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said the sentence "would be laughable if it was not so abhorrent."
Natalie Peplin-Sobelman, 43, of Blackwell, Mo., was accused of purposefully starving dozens of cats and mistreating dogs at breeding facilities she had operated in northern St. Francois County, just south of the Jefferson County line. She appeared in a Farmington, Mo., courtroom on Friday after pleading guilty to one animal-abuse charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping six other felony charges and 55 misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.I'll take a misdemeanor for six felonies and 55 other misdemeanors, please Alex. The daily double? I'm revolted. More must be done, but it's not going to happen in the courtroom.
It happens with you and with me. Please consider adopting animals from shelters and bypassing breeders. Although there are reputable breeders, certainly, there are so many loving animals who do not have homes and are needlessly euthanized. Do not purchase animals from pet stores. This feeds the demand.
My wish is that the offender's picture were published so that it could be republished again and again in hopes that this person (I'm being generous here with that label) could be scowled at, scorned, every day of its life - in the grocery store, at the movie theater. I hope each animal it encounters scorns it as well. Bites the hand that won't feed it.
You can believe I'm firing a letter to the article's author.
February 19, 2004
Test, a Test!
Ted at Rocket Jones points to this test. So I took it.
Results below - all in all, pretty accurate. I'm less friendly than Ted.
Advanced Big 30 Personality Test Results
I'll Buy That For a Dollar - Your Name That Is
The grand master Chaz at Dustbury reports something I missed.
Last week, PETA offered twenty grand worth of soy products or something to the folks in Slaughterville, Oklahoma, in the hopes of persuading the town to change its name to "Veggieville".There's more to it, and I don't want to steal his thunder, so do visit.
Can I get some Soy Crisps for changing my middle name to Cat? That's what I want to know. I guess Louise doesn't imply pain/death to animals, though, and I'm outta luck. So perhaps I have to change it to get it changed again?
I guess I have to settle for nickels (made 15 cents of PETA so far!) and address labels I can use for their humor value...sorta like paying bills in February with leftover Christmas stamps; it amuses me.
February 18, 2004
Quote(s) of the Week
"People want to eat from the time they get up till the time they go to sleep. And by the way, no exercise, please," Romano said. "It's all about proportion, it's all about balance."Source? Pasta fights back. Speaker? Michael Romano, executive chef of New York's Union Square Cafe.
My favorite brow-furrower from the article:
Colette Heimowitz, the Atkins organization's research director, denied that the Atkins Diet is risky or a fad. "It's amazing how Atkins is blamed for everything," she said by phone from New York.They can't. I see. I guess I'll have to reverse my views on personal responsibility. I mean, how can you expect a human to live within his means financially, exercise, eat and drink responsibly, work for a living, and not use tobacco? Can't be done, Colette? Pleh.
"If people could have moderation in everything that'd be wonderful," Heimowitz said. "We wouldn't have this discussion. But people won't, they don't, they can't. They need other options to reach their weight goals."
I just got done flapping my ostrich wings for amusement (Joust - Shockwave emulation. Check it out - quite fun). Didn't score so well, so I stopped putting off blogging, and here I am.
And the first amusing story I find is about a coin-operated dude.
BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- French doctors were taken aback when they discovered the reason for a patient's sore, swollen belly: He had swallowed around 350 coins -- $650 worth -- along with assorted necklaces and needles.Sing along with me...here's a quarter, call someone who cares. (Or swallow it, I guess. A quarter swallowed's not a quarter spent? Neither a borrower nor lender be?)
The 62-year-old man came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France in 2002. He had a history of major psychiatric illness, was suffering from stomach pain, and could not eat or move his bowels.
February 17, 2004
Singapore, Meet Portugal. Subtitle: Babies
Singapore seeks to procreate. And Portugal (or at least writers) decries the country's abortion laws.
Meanwhile, in Germany, you can hatch 'em.
Soy Crisps - Product Review
I'm sure I've mentioned these in previous blog entries, but Nacho Cheese Soy Crisps are absolutely the bomb.
I think they're comparable to Dorito's - have a heck of a crunch to 'em. Plus, protein, baby, what every muscle grower needs. If you're monitoring carbs but not throwing them away altogether, also a good snack.
And this site I'm pointing to has them very darned cheap. In the grocery store, I pay $2.69. You can bet I'm placing an order soon...like after I save this.
February 16, 2004
The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award
Back when I was in high school, the band director had some plaques in his office. One was the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award plaque which showed a dark bronze something - not sure what you call it - a likeness maybe? It was of his head and shoulders, and it had been hanging in the office for quite some time. Evidently, several years before I arrived at the school, the award ceased to be awarded (for lack of a better term). No jazz band - no need for a jazz award.
Louis' likeness on the plaque was a bit loose, too. So, as my own personal amusement, every time I would go in that office and be left to my own devices for a few moments, I'd turn him upside down. He was easy enough to right again, so no harm done. And it was kind of a dead plaque.
But, right before my senior year, my band director retired. That brought in a new band director, one with an affinity for jazz. And, seeing as I was primarily a trumpet player, I signed up. I was okay - just okay. My range on trumpet's not really suited for jazz. But I'll spoil it for you - I got the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for 1989 - 1990. No, really, I did. Here's how.
We did this rendition of When I Fall In Love - you probably know it as a song from the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack. It had a flute solo in it, and, well, that was my secondary instrument, the one I actually played when I entered high school (but that's another long story that someday maybe I'll tell). So, sure, I'll play your flute solo, band director...and play trumpet on the rest of the songs.
If you're muscially inclined in the woodwind/brass arena, you'll know this is more difficult than it originally sounds, difficult to make both instruments (especially flute after playing trumpet) sound as they should. The embouchure (or mouth formation) for the two instruments is quite different - so much so that when I played piccolo for the high school's production of The Wiz the year before, I gave my trumpet up for a week before the performances. It was probably that act (the flute/trumpet switch for the solo) and the difficulty thereof that landed me the award.
Now someday I have to go back to see if my name's engraved. And the direction ole Louis faces, of course.
Three Cheers for Campbell
Another snack to add to my arsenal. Goldfish crackers are now acceptable!
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, the cheesy fish-shaped crackers familiar to most Americans, are about to undergo a major makeover, losing their artery-clogging transfatty acids.Instead, we get canola and sunflower oils. Much, much better.
Pepperidge Farm parent Campbell Soup Co. is set to announce the change at a food industry conference on Tuesday, marking the first such modification from a big branded cracker line. It comes amid heightened consumer awareness about health and rising obesity rates.
Somebody want to buy me a bag of the pizza ones after the changeover? Mmm.
February 12, 2004
What I Read Today
Still not really in a writing mood. That beal infestation - tough to beat. But, it's not gotten everyone yet, so check these posts out.
The Meatriarchy has an excellent post about what he sees as the problem with hockey today, and he proposes some good fixes. Someone get the NHL commissioner on the phone, please. I'd remember his name if my Blues weren't doing so horribly, I'm sure. Bettman or something like that?
Geek love, ah. Kinda like Brian's poem to me in Java a few years ago. Pixy Misa's got HTTPanties for you.
And I thought I had a weird dream last night... Actually, I did. I killed someone accidentally with a knife in my dream, but I turned myself in during the dream. Granted, it was two days later and after putting the body in the attic (and I worry about rotten pork?), but I don't think I was punished too badly by the authorities. I should've written this one down - this doozy of a dream. Anyway, LeeAnn wants to tell you all about the bagels. She's not afraid of carbohydrates.
According to Owen at Boots and Sabers, a group at Beloit college is pushing for gender-neutral bathrooms. Why, praytell, why? I mean, there're causes like save the Garanimals that are more worthy than this. Send these people to a gay bar instead! Problem solved - gender neutral bathrooms. Oh, wait. Time for another of Heather's bad graphics symbols.
And, last but not least, Frank J. warns us about our enemy, JohnK.
I must go burn some carbs now.
February 10, 2004
Confirmed. No autopsy on Dr. Atkins. I have long wondered that - whether one would be performed, but the man did have a history of heart disease, so I guess he wasn't going to open that can of worms.
Looks like some others did in reminding us of the late Dr. Atkins' cardiovascular system woes. And stirred up a hornet's nest in the meantime.
Atkins Nutritionals (and the widow Atkins) and a bunch of vegetarian doctors. Do you think that perhaps these folks would NEVER agree? I'm thinking that's the case.
Anyway, Yahoo's got an article about the craziness ensuing. It says things like this:
NEW YORK - Dr. Robert Atkins, whose popular diet stresses protein-rich meat and cheese over carbohydrates, weighed 258 pounds at his death and had a history of heart disease, a newspaper reported Tuesday.You know, newspapers put all of that important info at the top, no? That stuff you JUST CAN'T MISS. If you walk away from the article having read only that, you don't get the whole picture. It later states that no autopsy was performed and that the conclusions were formed only by reviewing medical records created, presumably, when Dr. Atkins was still alive and about yapping about his diet.
Atkins died last April at age 72 after being injured in a fall on an icy street.
Before his death, he had suffered a heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a report by the city medical examiner.
At 258 pounds, the 6-foot-tall Atkins would have qualified as obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites)'s body-mass index calculator.
For every assertion, the Atkins pharmaceuticals have a loud "BUT!" What that "BUT" is telling you, gentle readers, is that there's still a lot of money to be made with this low-carb diet stuff. As far as the origin of Dr. Atkins' cardiovascular issues, who knows? How likely is it for a human to get cardiomyopathy - or heart infection - as humans quoted in this article asserted caused Atkins' issues? 50,000 Americans have it, according to this website, which appears to be an offshoot of the National Institute of Health.
Okay, I'll buy that's possible. I don't know about likely, though. Hard to glean any facts out of this political mess. So that's what I'll diagnose the situation as - a political mess. So don't expect me to forgo my whole wheat pasta spaghetti for lunch.
Beal. It rhymes with wheel, meal, steal, steel, feel, eel, teal, seal, deal, keel, Neal, peel, peal, veal, and spiel.
And I've got it, too. Susie has named my disease, you see. You know, that condition wherein one really DOES have the time (at least I DID) to churn out a few blog entries a day, but, see, she doesn't. At best, you may have one, and if it's like last night, well, as you see, just a mere sentence pointing to someone else's work. Someone who is unbealed.
Sigh. Back to work.
February 09, 2004
Vocabulary Lessons: Phrases
Joe Carter of the evangelical outpost teaches us about semantics and Vietnam.
February 08, 2004
Eat Chicken Day
Yes, on Saturday, the BBC reported that Thailand was holding National Eat Chicken Day.
Thousands watched as Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra fried chicken near the Grand Palace in the capital.PETA's response, er responses.
His aim, he said, was to tell the world that Thais have confidence in home-reared chicken.
Health experts say eating chicken meat and eggs is safe providing they are thoroughly cooked.
"I don't care if people love or hate me, but I ask that you love the country," the prime minister said in his radio address to the nation .
"If you don't eat chicken, people can't sell chickens, and they will lose their jobs. Everyone will have problems."
February 05, 2004
Cute Cat Moment
I got this from Val of Metro Animal. If you're cat friendly, you'll awwww.
Famous, Famous I Tell You
So, last week the flummoxed St. Louis Blues picked up aging (not maturing) left winger (no, wait, he's listed as a center now. Boggle.) Pascal Rheaume. Again.
Here's a bit of my e-mail to Jeff Gordon, talented local sportswriter. He published me. I'm published! Oh, wait, I do that publishing thing every day, don't I?
My reaction on hearing the (Rheaume) news from KMOX was maniacal laughter while rounding the corner of Marine and McKelvey. And that's dangerous while driving, by the way. The Blues are environmentally conscious with all of this recycling . . . you know that old saying about history and doom.Yes, folks, here it is. And, here it is (about halfway down the page).
Just like Rheaume. Here he was 5 years ago, and here he is again. The Blues have this retro theme this year, maybe 50s or so? The players are playing as if they were born then.
February 04, 2004
Forgive me, readers, for I must rant.
The pork chops I meal-planned (verb, indeed) for dinner this evening were rotten. I lashed out at the grocery store...and removed them from consideration for my business for the next month. As I have done before. What I said:
Today is February 4, 2004. This is just another day, but it is also the day my household is slated to eat pork chops and green beans. For, you see, I purchased said items last weekend at your Maryland Heights store, and the pork chops, as you can see, clearly state "Sell by 2/4/04." Today is 2/4/04. The pork chops were properly refrigerated for the duration of their stay in my home.hln
Sell By, I have learned but obviously am a bad customer for I have not fully taken to heart, really means "ingest a few days before, preferably two at least." Your store has coined its own meaty euphemism, and, frankly, I'm quite tired of it.
No pork chops for my family this evening. These are rancid enough that your meat packaging department should have known better. One whiff, and I traded cellopane removal for photograph procurement. This has happened often enough and with a wide enough variety of meats (though primarily pork and chicken) that you have lost our business for the following month. It's happened before, and perhaps this time I'll not return. Your "Pride of the Farm" is now my "Pride of the Trash Can." Your $5.19 sticker price - unearned.
Am I angry? Yes, I'm angry. This has happened at three of your stores in the St. Louis area, multiple occasions. When I moved here almost 6 years ago, I lived near the Ladue Crossings store. Twice I tried to cook meat on the "Sell by" date. Bad idea, Customer. It occurred with chicken from your Breckenridge Ridge store, and I never returned. I live near the Dorsett and McKelvey store now, and have done 80% of my shopping at that store since my move to Maryland Heights almost 4 years ago. My average in weekly grocery expenditure is $150. In my former month boycott, you lost approximately $600 of my money. Small (but hopefully not rotten) potatoes, I'm sure.
When I was in graduate school in Columbia in the mid 90's, Schucks was the QUALITY store in town. Things change; Dierberg's is already making the cha-ching noise.
A former customer,
February 03, 2004
I think Brian has done the writing for both of us this evening. He recounts his 16 years of making fun of Lyndon LaRouche, and it's a very worthy read.
Leave your comments for him here...to make him wish he had comments.