Saturday, May 28, 2016

Simple Weight Loss Tip

A surprisingly mainstream book which offered great yogic advice on how to breathe while working out (through nose only, and with a prolonged, slightly resisted exhalation) idly offered a weight loss tip without much emphasis: eat huge lunches and small dinners.

I resisted following this for years. Mainly, I "wasn't hungry at lunch" (as previously explained, your body has been trained to want the things it wants, and can easily change to accommodate new patterns).

But I'm currently staying in an area with expensive dinners and cheap lunches, so I've been lunching frequently, and having little more than a salad or soup for dinner (always careful to include lean protein). And I've done zero night snacking (I'd previously reduced this habit a lot, but not to zero).

And, sure enough, I've lost weight.


I think it's important to also eat breakfast.

Why I Dislike Comics Adaptations in Film and TV

I'm not a fan of comic book adaptations in film and TV. They tend to emphasize the aspects I most dislike about comics: wooden characterizations, contrived drama, and the overall sensation that plot’s being generated solely to feed the channel (sort of like soap opera).

Comics are a great way to kill time, but film and TV make less flexible time-killers, being harder to pick up and put down in errant moments of downtime.


Still, I have high hopes for "Preacher", which just started on AMC, and is supposed to be weirdly amazing (Here's Alan Sepinwall's low-spoiler look at the first season, and his review of this week's series debut).

Here, fwiw, is what I wrote when I managed to articulate why I'm annoyed by Steven Spielberg films.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Coining a New Term

"Global Worming": hiding out in the basement to escape the brunt of an insane unseasonable heat wave.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two Quick Bits of Advice

Whenever someone new tells you they "used to be" a certain way, there is a roughly 100% chance they still are. Steel yourself accordingly.

On a related note: If a romantic partner (or potential one) proclaims, in anguish, "I'm no good for you; you should run far, far away!", resist the urge to reassure. Instead, put on your coat and walk out the door. Not only is it absolutely your best move, but it's also the single least painful extrication point you'll ever have in the relationship*.


i.e. incredibly unlikely to turn into a "Megan, Come Back" moment.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why I Don't Fear Death

When the day comes for me to cast off my mortal coil, there will be sadness, yes (no more lasagna, just for one thing*). But I will be immensely grateful knowing I'll never again endure an exchange like this:
Plumbing Company:
Please note, that when we come in to do the boiler swap out and begin work, your portion of the balance will be due.

Me:
Are you saying you'll want the entire balance paid before work is finished? Normally, one pays at the end of a job. Is there a reason for this?

Plumbing Company:
According to our terms and conditions, you will be required to pay half of your portion of the balance on the day materials are delivered and job is started. the remaining balance is due day of system start up. apologies for any confusion.

Me:
Just to be sure I understand…..this means I pay the rest of the money when the job’s done, right?

Plumbing Company:
the last payment is due on day we start up the system.

Me:
What work will remain after you start the system?

Plumbing Company:
there is no more work after system start up.

* - Also, I'm pretty sure there's no Internet in Heaven. If there were, we'd be exposed to YouTube video comments, which certainly aren't conducive to the heavenly environment. So if there were Internet, they'd need to filter it, ala China, leading to headaches which God and his management people would surely sooner avoid. So, yup, no Internet, for sure.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Digit: Save Money Without Thinking About It

So, so smart. Please share this (pinched from Andrew Tobias' blog), especially with younger people:
SAVE MONEY WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT
Tom Foley: “Well, if you like Paribus, have you seen Digit? Using a special algorithm, they transfer small amounts of money from your checking account to a savings account a few times a week. Think like $6.25. , then, a few days later, maybe $2.37, so you don’t even notice. It takes more on payday and when you receive your tax return, but relatively small amounts. It has some behavioral finance motivational messaging built in and is great for teaching the power of savings to new or young savers. I signed up a few months back for fun, and checked my balance today, like $475. All sorts of guarantees so you don’t overdraw the account, and you can manage it by text, app or online. It’s super neat.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The More She Talks, The More She Loses Them

In case you missed the comments beneath my previous posting, "The Smartest Thing Hillary Clinton Could Do"....

shel emm said...
I completely agree that her focus needs to be on her message and not engage with Donald Trump. In the debates (despite your recommendation, she should attend), she should make it clear that it will not be a debate but a conversation. She should explain how we got to where we are on issues like health care, the economy, foreign policy, and how she intends to go forward.

A good deal changed to the state of the Democratic Party in 2008. The focus before then was reaching the independents and perhaps sympatico Republicans. In 2008 and 2012, the focus was soley about getting out your own vote. Stop convincing others, just get your own people to the polls. It was practically a miracle in this time period that states expanded voting rights by adding additional days and hours for voting. This completely backfired on the Republicans as African Americans proved far more likely to take advantage of early voting than the rest of the population. The most important stumbling block will be in states that have made efforts to curtail voting rights. Republicans have learned from their mistake, and have been in high gear to roll back voting rights.

jim leff said...
She can't win a debate. If she fails to really vigorously return his attacks and just wonks out on policy, she'll not only disgust the un-winnable Trump supporters, but she'll anguish her own supporters, who emotionally want to see someone stand up to Trump. But almost no one but the most died-in-the-wool Clinton supporters want to see her snarl at him. She just can't get away with it.

The smug, oily way she speaks about him almost (almost!) makes him more appealing to a centrist/moderate like me. The best analogy I can make is to the scene in "Bowling for Columbine" where Michael Moore badgers Charlton Heston. I hate Heston's politics on guns, but in that scene Moore made himself so stridently, obnoxiously sanctimonious that I was moved to sympathy for Heston (though certainly not his politics). I think Clinton, and the button she pushes, does the same for many people (especially independents like me). She's absolutely not the person to carry an anti-Trump message. She's the worst possible person for that, and will exhaust and dismay even left-leaning voters who aren't bought-in to Hillary-ism. The more she talks, the more she loses them. That's been demonstrated time and time again.

At this point, blessed with her third (out of three) seemingly un-closeable lead in a national election due to a seemingly weak opponent, she has nowhere to go but down. Not one thing she does, not one word she says can help her in this election. My posting is not a wry "modest proposal". It's quite clearly her best bet.

Consider at least this: Bernie supporters are WAY more likely to vote for Hillary-as-an-abstract-symbol than Hillary-as-an-actual-person. She's not going to "grow" on them. She doesn't "grow" on people. That's just not her forte.

The Smartest Thing Hillary Clinton Could Do

Two points are inarguable:

1. No one who likes Donald Trump will have their mind changed by anything Hillary Clinton has to say.

2. No one who dislikes Hillary Clinton will have their mind changed by anything Hillary Clinton has to say.

There's nothing for her to do. It is not in her power to increase his negatives or her own positives. For those rubbed the wrong way by her love-it-or-hate-it voice, six months of Clinton grinding over what a prick Trump is will only work against the intended narrative. And in the course of those six months, she and Bill will commit many unforced errors. All while Trump trolls the bejesus out of her (America's brashest troll meets America's tightest coil).

This election is Clinton's to lose. She's got as strong a margin as she started with (and feebly squandered) against Obama and Sanders. So the smartest thing Hillary and Bill could do would be to rent a nice house in the south of France until November, and disappear. Not say a word. Let her proxies (not Bill) snipe at Trump. Let Trump be the only candidate committing unforced errors. Give him the total spotlight he craves. Let the nation experience nothing but wall-to-wall Trump for six months. Let Trump undo Trumpism.

Also: hand over $100 million of her titanic campaign funds to Adam Chodikoff. He's the Daily Show producer with the prodigious memory who dredges up those gotcha clips showing politicians directly contradicting themselves. Let Chodikoff do nothing but put produce viral clips of Trump lying and self-contradicting. Have him go through every iota of Trump on tape and work wonders. And fund him to plaster the airwaves with that stuff, sans comment. Let the public burn out on the country's most despised public figure without assistance - without a word! - from the country's second most despised public figure.


Either check out the comments, below, or else see them replayed in this followup.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cheney's For Trump

When I was younger, it was fashionable for those on the left to describe those on the right as "fascists". Liberals weren't paying the least attention to conservative takes on issues; instead, they were sniffing past all that to some inner core of being, where they believed they detected the whiff of jackboots. It was offensive, provocative, and the trope died long ago.

Obviously, we're still as tribal as ever - maybe more so. We still talk past each other on issues, because our attention remains ratcheted on a deeper sense of otherness; the way in which conservatives are, like, assholes, and liberals are, like, assholes. Of course, both are right; assholery is a pan-human trait that's more readily perceived on the other side (as I once wrote, "Racism, sexism, classism, etc. are nothing more than the incomplete registration of a perfectly appropriate misanthropy").

But then today Dick Cheney, a man of principles (even if you detest them), endorsed Donald Trump, who shares very few of those principles. And I can't help imagining that the primary appeal, heaven help me, had to be Trump's fascism.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tortilla Chips that Taste Like Real Corn

What if tortilla chips actually tasted like corn on the cob? The nixtamal (aka hominy) process, where alkali is applied to make corn a stable ingredient - and one that can be formed into dough - for making tortillas, posole, chips, grits, etc., sacrifices corn flavor and sweetness.

But, again, what if tortilla chips actually tasted like corn on the cob? They can!!

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