Showing posts from April, 2010


Last week I posted about my needing to get away from consuming so much high fructose containing treats. And I ordered exceedingly "natural" lollipops from YummyEarth as a first step.

The lollipops arrived on Tuesday, that's them over on the left.

If you click on the picture it'll get big enough that you can read the ingredient label. Interesting stuff goes in these things.

Below there's a closeup picture of one of the lollipops. They taste... okay. I like them but I'm not thrilled by their taste. I think part of the problem is that I really like HFCS. I've tried sodas made with real cane sugar and I didn't like the change in taste. Hmmmph. Healthy eating isn't my bag, I guess.

I guess it's worth it to keep my liver happy but I would like to be able to drink as much "bad" soda as I want. But those days are over. :-(

In other noteworthy news, I wasn't happy with the way they gave a free pass to the winner of the quickfire challenge in T…

Lazy or wise?

In the "good advice" column in the May 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping Geneen Roth advises us to live life. The title of the column is "Wisdom to Go" and it's subtitled "When Time is Short, What Really Matters?"

The column is well written (and Roth is cute as the dickens---not that that is germane, of course) but in my opinion lazy.

Roth starts off by referring to a friend who's a surgeon and has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. The friend's reaction to the devastating news? "Wow, now I can stay home from work for a few months."

Roth uses that shocker to transition into how, were we to find out that we don't have long to live, we would change our priorities and live life differently. My reaction? No shit.

Sure, we'd all like to indulge ourselves in activities that we enjoy most. But we don't know our future so we have to plan as if we're going to live a long time and so we scrimp and save. It's like the old…

Amazon and North Carolina

I was reading an article on ZD net the other day--that's the website for the Ziff Davis publishing house--about how Amazon is currently fighting the state of North Carolina over the state's desire to access Amazon's database of customer's and their purchases.
Amazon has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina’s Department of Revenue to prevent the state from getting the names of every resident that bought anything from the retailer since 2003. The ramifications could be huge.

As you may recall, Amazon has been dueling with a few states over taxation issues. States, which are struggling to balance bloated budgets, are mulling over taxing out-of-state Internet retailers.
Since I live in NC I take a large interest in this fight. Should Amazon lose, any resident of NC that bought anything from Amazon in the past 8 years could be forced to pay state sales tax on their purchases, if they hadn't already done so.

That can add up to big bucks for some people. Take the typical fa…

Lollipop Diet

I've been on a diet the past 2 months. My doctor insisted; she was quite adamant, in fact. For the most part I've been behaving myself and as a result I've gone down from 228 to 194.

However I still love sweets and now that my weight is approaching normal (I actually need to hit 183 before my BMI is officially normal) I want to add some candy back into my diet. I still want to avoid fructose as much as I can, ie high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which complicates things a mite since HFCS is in so much candy.

So when I noticed that Amazon is running a 20% off coupon code special on YummyEarth lollipops ("YUMET924") I had to pick up a 5 lb bag.

YummyEarth is a small company that makes organic candy that is free of corn syrup as well as being gluten-free, GMO-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, casein-free, and dairy-free. *whew* But despite that word "free" occurring so often they're not free-free. On the YummyEarth website a 5 lb bag of assorted flavor l…

Hide or Seek?

While hiking today in Duke Forest I came upon a total of 4 snakes. The two small ones were happy to see me and wanted to make friends but the big ones quickly scooted away to hide. Wouldn't you think it would work the other way around?

2009 is over

I finally filed my taxes so 2009 is officially over and out the door. *whew*

There was some last minute anxiety because one of the stock sales I made in 2009 was of a stock that hadn't been bought in 2009---and so the brokerage year end report didn't include the buy price. I usually only hold on to stocks for a few weeks to a few months so this was unusual for me. And unfortunately that stock was bought in a year that I couldn't immediately find the buy records for.

There was some frantic searching but it turned out that I bought the stock in 2007 and lost a lot of money on the damn thing. I think it was something like $4,400. Ouch. That was probably why I held onto the stock for so long---I was hoping that it'd come back. It never did. :-(

A Beautiful Saturday

The weather yesterday was just wonderful. The sun was magnificent and yet the temperatures topped out in the low 70s. Perfect conditions for being outside hiking in the woods. Even the tadpoles were enjoying themselves in their odd wiggly way.

An odd day at the park

Yesterday after work I went hiking at Occoneechee Park.

The first lap I did alone since I wanted to go pretty fast. The temp was in the low 90s so one fast lap was plenty.

On the second lap I was in the company of 6 other hikers and we took a more casual pace around the mountain. We even did odd things like stop on occasion. Not a good strategy for an aerobic workout but not a bad idea on such a hot day.

In any case, this is 3 of the people I was hiking with, taking a break above a stone quarry---and oddly enough, being approached by a giant section of stained glass. Nature is certainly full of wonders!

BTW, you can see two teenagers on the other side of the fence. They had hiked up the face of the quarry---scary---and were sitting and smoking within a foot or so of the crumbling edge of the overlook. An overlook, I might add, that has lost parts and pieces many times over the years. The fearlessness of youth!

Okay but now back to reality

Here's a promotional Email for a medical study that's being undertaken at UNC:

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy


Are You a Healthy Male Over the Age of 40?

Investigators at UNC are looking for men to participate in a study
evaluating blood vessel function.

Participants must also:
*be non-smokers
*have no history of cardiovascular disease (including high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes)
*not be taking any daily medications
The study involves:
*A one-time outpatient clinic visit lasting about 1.5 hours
*Non-invasive blood vessel function assessment
*Blood sample collection
*Must be willing to fast over night and avoid certain over-the-counter
medications and dietary supplements for one week
*$50 compensation for completing the study
For more information, contact...

Now you tell me, how many guys over 40 don't take any medications at all? But if that's true for you and you want 50 bucks, I can direct you to the folk doing this study---I'm sure they&…


It's a trifle silly but I was quite thrilled when the cowboys went from last place---and with a speedbump, to boot---all the way up to first place. Woo-hoo.

Personally I would have gone with the incense instead of the forehead-flag thingy too. I guess it was a popular but harmful decision. I'm glad the cowboys forged ahead using the less traveled path.

Isn't this all quite Thoreau-ish? Isn't this all quite Frost-ish?

It doesn't quite work using the Frost name. :-(

Not many teams I like left since I don't like the cops, lesbians, or models. Not crazy about the brothers either. Actually the only team I liked other than the cowboys was Jordan and Jeff and they got eliminated several weeks ago. That damn wine glass stacking did them in. Jordan was also great for cute quotes. You never could quite believe she was serious.

Joan of Arc: Is that the guy with all the animals?


Happy almost Easter. These are some flowers I sent my Mom. Her birthday is in just a couple of days so it was a bouquet that did double duty.

My trip south was mostly uneventful but I arrived to my parents' house with one of my tires almost flat. There was a place in NC, maybe 30 miles east of Charlotte where I saw nearly 20 cars on the sides of the road with their blinkers on. At the time I though there might have been something spilled on the road that caused flats---but I didn't see anything. Maybe there was something there after all.