Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Journey's Importance ...

A couple of days ago I was reading an article on line, and silly me I forgot to bookmark it, so that I could reference it here and give proper due. So I guess that I'll just have to try paraphrasing what I remember of it. It was the conclusions of a study conducted of young people in the 16-29 age group in larger cities. It seems that this age group is for the most part fore going their driver's licenses. In Lew of taxises, trams, subways and buses, basically the public transportation system. Recreational transportation for the most part for them is pedal powered. The study also went on to speculate that these people may fore go ownership of any internal combustion engined vehicle, for the rest of their lives. I see this conclusion as a good thing over all.

Personally having grown up on a dairy farm in up state New York. Then growing away from my roots, I have had many a car and truck in my life, even some motorcycles. I am not saying that any of them are bad in and of themselves. Just that I can no longer afford them. What with costs forever going up, and with my income being either stagnant or falling. It just makes more sense that I turn to a more economical form of transportation, and for myself that takes the form of pedal power. Now with a trailer behind the, in my case a recumbent trike, that will allow for as much storage as a small car or truck.

Now granted going places and doing errands may take a little longer. But as a whole that can transform into "the journey being as important as the destination", or however that saying goes. Remember that by pedaling my "phat arse" around town, I will slowly start to slim down and firm up. Which will in turn translate into better health in the long run. Being that I'm over the 50 year mark, OK closer to 60 ~ about 1 1/2 years to go on that one. Slowing down is not a bad thing really. Getting into a better shape than roundish in the middle, should help me to see more of my golden years as well.

Yes I poke fun at myself, after all laughter is the best medicine, or so I have been told. Also if I am picking on myself, then I'm leaving others alone. Wait a minute here, maybe I should charge for that service. No, I could not do that to my fellow man, as I don't want anyone to think that I might be attached to some governmental branch, any where.

So as I pedal my phat arse ever onward,
Ohhh, look at the pretty flowers ...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

As The Wheel Turns ...

Recently I saw a trailer on You Tube, for a television series that is set for this fall to be hosted by NBC. The title of this series is "Revolution", and it is set in a post electrical era. Now the opening of the show is in a modern world. Then as some warnings are given by a few about something about to be turned off. However before anyone can get a handle on what is happening, a world wide blackout occurs. Then the announcer chimes in and tells of how major cities and governments collapsed. How warlords and fiefdoms sprang up. Various militia groups hold sway over expanses of land and peoples. As mankind rebuilds after 15 years a society fashioned from 200 years ago. The hook is that a decorative pendent is a device of some kind, that when it is activated reveals that some limited electricity still exists. Also that there is a covert group of some kind, who not only knows that electricity still exists ~ but seam to operate and manipulate outside and within the remaining population. In my view it looks to be a very interesting show.

Now the reason that I bring this up, is because in that event electric welding would be no more. Welding could still be done with gas, or maybe even blacksmithing possibly even rivet welding. Gas welding is not really that much more difficult to learn, any more than electric welding. However blacksmithing and rivet welding, on the other hand both are a whole other thing altogether and different from each other, but each would be do able. Also a human powered vehicle, be it a bike or trike or quadracycle, could rival the horse or other beasts of burden. We as a whole are not that far removed from the late 1800's, when industry was booming without the use of electricity. true there was some places that had electricity, but for the most part it was still a novelty, that frightened the masses. Remember that they did have power ~ steam power, coal power, natural gas power, people power, beasts of burden power, hydro power and wind power just to name a few. Did I mention people power? Yes a pedal powered machine could power a washing machine, a water pump sew clothes, plow a field or move products and goods from one place to another. We are not a helpless species by any means. If we had to, we could live with out electricity. Our pace would slow down and some things may take longer to build or to acquire but we could survive.

Books would again be read for their printed knowledge's of how things "old" once worked. We would look to books and our elderly for the collective knowledge to do everything "the old way" once again. Like tending the garden, or raising animals for food ~ remember milk comes from cows and goats and a few others. Cheese and butter comes from milk and so on. Cloth can be woven from some grasses or hair or fur. How many of us living today still really remember how to do any of these things? You see it is all of the little things that our grandparents and great grandparents did to make their lives a little more comfortable. If the lights went out tomorrow, it would be the first two generations that would have the most difficult time handling it. As we would be the ones who would remember what was lost. Also that there would be a lot of hard work relearning to again live with nature and within our means. However after a time of adjustment, things would start to settle into a pattern of practicality and necessity once again.

Now I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom here, but as a whole it has been nearly four years since the world economic collapse of 2008 began. Without showing any real sign of progress at much of a recovery just yet. Some countries around the world are in dire straits. While some economists here in the United States, are giving out predictions of yet another money disaster. That is yet to hit sometime in late summer or the fall of this year, They are calling it hyper inflation. Should this come to pass, things could be quite dire indeed.

Should the worst happen, myself and those around me will survive. I know how to garden and raise my own food. As well as how to preserve the harvest, along with the saving of seeds. We will barter with our neighbors, as we set up a defensive perimeter to patrol and maintain. I know how to make alcohol for drinking and to use as barter or fuel or a sterilization dip if needed. The knowledge of bio-diesel also is not lost to me. Surviving outside of what is normal is never easy at first, but it is all learn able and do able.

Something else that I find interesting, is that the Mayan calender is said to end on 12-20-2012. The deciphered hieroglyphs depict an "end of days as we know it" kind of scenario. Wait a minute here. First of all the Mayans never heard of leap year, so how could they be precise in their prediction? Second, it is my understanding that their calendar is several large circular stone rings that interact with each other endlessly. So how can anyone say that their calendar ever really ends? Let alone on a particular day like the winter solstice ~ which is in reality the beginning of the coming year, like any pagan or native of nature can tell you. At least in the northern hemisphere. Thirdly it has been rumored that when the Spanish missionaries first stumbled across the ruins of an ancient culture (like the Mayans), then if they saw serpentine hieroglyphs, then they would have assumed the worst from their religious view point. They therefore proceeded to destroy as much of it as they could. As I understand it, most of the codex's are lost for all time. So in deciphering a dead language, without a code to decipher it with, a prediction of a disaster yet to unfold of major proportions ... it all just sounds to convenient for me. Now I am not saying that nothing will happen, just that as a whole, it sounds like chance and possibility just maybe the victims of a hit and run with a massive cover up. So that the general population will have something to look at as the cause of their current problems, instead of the real culprits. Now don't quote me on all of this as I am just thinking a lot of what ifs here, along with historical facts that could create a possible explanation.

For as the wheel of the world turns,
A new day dawns ...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother's Love ...

Without a Mother's Love, how many of us would have survived past puberty? Or would have had the mired of pets in our younger years, that we teased and enticed into following us home. So that we could say, "Mom, look at what followed me home. Can I keep it? Huh, can I? I'll feed it, clean up after it, love it and care for it, you will not have to do anything. Pleasssssse?" Even though mom knows that with in a month at best, that she will be tending and caring for another of our whims. Being a mom she will usually give in. Sometimes with a stern warning though, "That if we don't live up to our end of the bargain ~ Out the door it goes." However that usually does not happen, thanks in part to mom's soft heart.

Without a Mother's Love, where would any of us be? Where would we be living? How would we have found the will and courage, to fight for our selves and what is right? Or to strive to better our selves? Our mother's may have tried to teach us all, good nutritional habits even though the older that we get, cold pizza and warm beer sounds so good. For those of us who were lucky to have a dad as we grew up, mom was still the nurturing one. The one that we would turn to, to sooth our many hurts and pains. To help heal our boo boos. To be our guiding light in the darkest of closets, where the boogie man hides.

Without a Mother's Love, how would we have learned to shop for food or clothing or what ever? Where would we have found our selves, when we went looking for a mate? Who would have been there to criticize and critique our choices? With a line like, "Son or my darling Daughter, you know that I love you, will stand by you and back you up. But are you sure, I mean really positive that you want to spend the rest of your life with that, ... person?" Of course you could have gotten lucky with your first choice, in that your mother was so totally approving, that she interceded with dad on our behalf.

Yes a Mother's Love is unconditional and infinite, even as her patience can sometimes wear thin and be finite. How many remember a line that was blurted out when mother was loosing it? That went something like this, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it!" or "I still remember how to replace you, so Don't Push Your Luck!".

But as we grow past our innuendos and insecurities to become what and who our mothers want us to be. We tend to blossom and bloom into the full adulthood of men and women. For then as we can look back only after surviving our youth, can we see what it was that our mothers saw in us in the first place.

So I say to all of you, my friends ... wish your mother
A Happy Mother's Day.
Also she may like the Mom Song at
Or maybe this version of the Mum Song at
For all that you did and still do 
Thank You Mom.

P.S. It seems that neither of the links are working, but if you google "the mom song" you will find them both. Sorry about any inconvenience. 
Your friend

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gravitationally Challenged ...

The title of this post is another rather colorful way of asking someone if they are a little over weight, packing a few extra pounds, pleasantly plump, has a shelf to set the beer mug on ~ namely the beer bellie, laying on the winter's larder, a little heavy, slightly rounder, rotund, imitating a blimp, obese or simply that they have a rare disorder where food to them, is like an asteroid belt is to a planetoid ~ it's like a gravitational pull that food just can not resist them. So ... let ask everyone a couple of questions here, "How many think that they might be gravitationally challenged? Could anyone maybe feel a little better if they lost a few pounds?" I am asking because here in the U. S. of A. a major health issue is the extra poundage, that many of us carry around ~ myself included. Even though I work hard and play hard, I still like to eat rather well. My problem being that I either eat to much and/or am eating the wrong foods for a healthy diet. Also like many, my relaxing time is usually spent in front of some kind of electrical device while playing with buttons and staring at a screen that is far to close to my eyes. So if you are like me, let's all turn off that electrical device and start exercising more ~ first our minds as we build our exercising machines, then going for a ride while pedaling our big arses around. You may even meet the neighbors (scary as that maybe), or see things that were only a blur when you were sitting in or on your internal combustion contraptions. That tend to suck your hard earned coins away faster than electricity can move. Also by pedaling we will loose the excess poundage and firm up while slimming down, all by pedaling around our county.

OK let's look at bad habits and/or vices for a bit now. Personally I have not gone off the deep end with illicit drug abuse, I did experiment and I did inhale in my younger years. Speaking of inhaling, I do enjoy smoking (about 30 years now) I enjoy cigars and a good pipe tobacco. Now as for drinking, I also enjoy that. My favorite metaphor on this subject is "that I don't drink any more than fish swim." Seriously though, I do drink (about 48 years on this one), and yes I am an alcoholic. However over the last 20 years or so I have painfully learned to control the cravings, even though I do tend to slip up sometimes. Smoking and drinking are my only two vices that I have left. They may end up killing me, but here is the big secret ... we can't get out of this world alive anyhow.

So as long as we are here, let's all try to get into a better shape than most of us are currently in. Maybe we cold give the grim reaper a heart attack while he tries to catch us. One way is to start walking more and not just casually strolling along. Work it up to a sweat and maintain it, start slowly by dragging our collective big arses out of that recliner. Then head for the door, without the keys to those gas and diesel guzzlers, then around the block as a starting point.

Also we need to start eating right, and a more healthy and natural diet at that. No it is not a diet per say, but more on the side of eating smaller portions with more healthy choices. It may be painful at first, but like all of our bad choices ~ our bodies will adjust. The experts all agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why not trick our bodies into it, by making them think that a milk shake is the way to go. Well an ice cream shake is not, but a nutritional shake is. In the June 2012 issue of Bicycling magazine is an interesting article titled "Whip It Good" and on page 40 they have a list of 5 different smoothies (shakes) that are healthy and designed to revitalize a cyclist after a long work out. I think that they would also make for a healthy breakfast shake.

They are as follows:
Blueberry Almond ~ strengthens bones and fights free radicals
          1 & 1/2 cups of milk
          1/2 cup ricotta cheese
          1/2 cup frozen blueberries
          1 teaspoon almond butter (homemade ~ Google it)
          1 tablespoon wheat germ
          1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
     blend till smooth ~ 351 calories, 11 grams fat, 44 grams carbs., 4 grams fiber, 26 grams protein.
Banana Mocha ~ replenishes glycogen stores and increases endurance
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup coffee, cooled (personally very strong)
          1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt has twice the protein)
          1 tablespoon almond butter (has calcium, magnesium and phosphorus for strong bones)
          2 teaspoon cocoa powder
          1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
          1 frozen banana
     blend till smooth ~ 357 calories, 11 grams fat, 49 grams carbs., 5 grams fiber, 23 grams protein.
Green Tea Ginger ~ speeds up metabolism and protects the heart
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup coconut water (homemade, google it)
          1/2 cup silken tofu
          1/2 cup frozen citrus concentrate (or fruit)
          2 tablespoon walnut pieces
          1/2 teaspoon matcha (google it)
          1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
     blend till smooth ~ 309 calories, 13 grams fat, 36 carbs., 4 grams fiber, 17 grams protein.
Tangy Raspberry ~ soothes and repairs sore muscles
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup pomegranate juice
          1/2 cup ricotta cheese
          1/2 cup frozen raspberries
          1 tablespoon ground flax seed
          1 tablespoon wheat germ
          1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
     blend till smooth ~ 305 calories, 5 grams fat, 51 grams carbs., 7 grams fiber, 21 grams protein.
Pumpkin Spice ~ boosts immunity and replaces electrolytes
          1 cup milk
          1/2 cup coconut water (Google it)
          1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek)
          1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
          2 tablespoon walnut pieces
          1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
     blend till smooth ~ 292 calories, 10 grams fat, 30 grams  carbs., 5 grams fiber, 22 grams protein.
*nutritional information based on 1 serving, using nonfat dairy.

Now for lunch, I would say to keep it light with fresh fruit some yogurt (plain or flavored) and 1 or 2 energy bars. If you feel a energy crash coming on in mid morning or afternoon, grab a couple of fig bars and 1 or 2 energy bars. Alright the day is done, so ... what is for dinner?

Mediterranean Pasta
          1 pound farfalle pasta (or bow ties)
          4 sun-dried tomatoes (in oil) julienned
          18 ounces artichoke hearts (in oil) quartered
          6 cups (1 bag) fresh leaf spinach
          5 pieces thick cut bacon
          1/2 cup bread crumbs
          1 tablespoon minced garlic
          1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
          3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
          2 tablespoon real butter
          kosher or sea salt (not iodized) and fresh ground pepper to taste
          feta cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta. Place the bacon on a double layer of paper towels side by side, then cover with a double layer of paper towels. Cook on high for 2 minutes in the microwave, then crumble when cool. Julienne the sun-dried tomatoes, and strain the artichokes (reserving the fluids) then quarter. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the garlic, tomatoes, and red pepper stir together for about 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and cook for 3 - 5 more minutes. Add the spinach in intervals and saute down for about 3 minutes. Add in the bacon and cook for another minute while stirring it all together. Then transfer to a bowl. Now using the same skillet (do not clean) add 1/4 cup of reserved artichoke oil, reduce by 1/3rd, add breadcrumbs stir frequently until golden brown. 
Now take a large bowl or pot add the cooked pasta and 2 tablespoon of real butter, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Then add in the cooked bread crumbs to the pasta and toss together, add the artichoke heart mixture and toss again.
Plate and top with 1/4 cup of feta cheese on each plate. A rose or red wine goes well with this dish. Enjoy.

There you go my friends,
A healthy day of food choices to celebrate the first day of the rest of our lives,
Let us all make the reaper work to catch us ...