Monday, July 28, 2008

Friendly Phrase to Form a Future Food Philosophy

Most of us have been taught since childhood to clean our plates when eating meals. It's wasteful not to, after all. Well, it's my belief that this philosophy has been a major contributing factor in the American obesity epidemic.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad idea to encourage a child to consume enough calories to support his growing body. But as adults, at some point we need to realize that this philosophy is no longer applicable. And while it certainly is a bad thing to waste resources such as food, we need to understand that we're not using it by eating it, we're storing it - which is both unnecessary and undesirable.

So if your body is comfortable with what you've already eaten, then just throw the rest of your food away. You heard me right - toss it! If you consistently leave a little bit of food on your plate when you conclude your meals, it will slowly but significantly contribute to keeping it from collecting on and around your body.

So here is my new catch phrase to outline my philosophy. And I almost guarantee that it will not only stick in your head, but maybe even become a cultural phenomena. Here it is:

It is better to waste, than to waist.

For even greater emphasis, point to the trash during the first half of the sentence, then point to your midsection during the second half.

It's short, it's relevant, and it's potentially life-changing. Remember it. Use it. Spread it to others. And remember where you heard it first.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dedication to Dad

Tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of my dad's death.

Oddly enough, I didn't plan the perfect timing of any of the following:
  • Last week, our family went on a camping and road trip to Colorado. Before we left, Amanda asked me to pick up a particular book from Target for her to read. While I was looking for it, another book caught my eye - tuesdays with Morrie.

    I remembered my dad recommended it to me when he was still alive, so I grabbed it to take on our trip and read most of it while we were gone. Tonight when I got home from work, I sat outside with the kids while they played and read the last chapter and the Afterword. So that book is finished as of tonight.

  • Several years ago, my dad sent me a book in the mail called the Chip. He found it at a book sale that the Nashville Public Library was holding, and thought I might find it interesting.

    I was busy with grad school at the time though, so I never did read it. A few months ago however, I was looking for a new book to read and came across it again. So I started reading it, and it just so happened that I finished that book tonight as well.

  • When my dad passed away in 2003, my siblings and I hastily scanned pictures, selected music, and put together a Power Point presentation for his memorial service.

    For Father's Day this year, I decided to finally hunt it down and post it online. Sounds easy enough, right?

    Well, I ran into numerous problems with posting a Power Point presentation online. It doesn't import/attach mp3 files properly, the wav files are way too big, when accessing through a web site the file downloads and opens up locally in power point instead of in the browser, etc. After wrestling with these problems and talking to other people about it, I decided to create a video out of it instead.

    First I tried using Windows Movie Maker (it's included with Windows XP), but it doesn't have "Ken Burns" effects (after watching a slide presentation at VBS, I decided that these effects were a necessity to make it right). So I did a little research and ended up using Photo Story 3 for Windows instead.

    After adding the music, a few new pictures, the Ken Burns effects, and putting it all together, I just finished it yesterday. Not in time for father's day, but pretty good timing nonetheless.

You can now see the new and improved version of the presentation here, if interested. I'll also write reviews of the books soon on the Book Review page of my web site. It's 11:30pm though, so they'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Touch of Irony

In case you haven't heard in the news, supermodel Christie Brinkley is currently in the midst of an ugly divorce with her husband, due to his infidelity with an 18 year old girl.

Does anyone else find it ironic that a woman who has made her long-lived career causing other men to lust after her is now the victim of lust herself?

Granted, she didn't pose for playboy or bare all. And I doubt that her pictures and poses directly caused men to stray from their wives or leave their families. But Sports Illustrated is a widely distributed publication, viewed by (according to Wikipedia) 18 million men. I can remember seeing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues highlighting herself and Kathy Ireland and feeling that loathsome and almost painful longing of a teenage boy/man with too many hormones already.

In numerous quotes, Miss Brinkley has expressed her surprise that her husband had the poor judgment to look at porn, and that he sacrificed his family's trust to sexually pursue his lust for this other girl (who can barely even be called a woman). How a woman who makes her living by doing her best to incite lust have such little understanding of the struggles with lust that men face?

And when has lust involved any kind of rational decision making? From a worldly perspective, it's simply a physical desire caused by hormones. From a Christian perspective, it's a spiritual issue of temptation in an attempt to break up families and lead men to worship something (flesh) other than the Living God.

I'm not attempting to justify the actions of her husband by any means, and I don't wish miss Brinkley the pain that she is publicly enduring with her divorce. I'm just surprised that a woman whose image was purchased and hungrily drooled over by so many men for so many years is adamantly expressing so little understanding of her husband's actions. And observing the irony of it all.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bountiful Birthday Blessings!

Saturday was Amanda's 32nd birthday. There are two wonderful things that happened that day.
1) I think (hope) I very largely contributed to it being a memorable and enjoyable day for her.
2) We were able to spend some really great quality time together that evening.

To start with, I let Amanda sleep in. When she awoke I made us all breakfast. During the day, we proceeded with the painful process of purchasing our Honda Odyssey minivan. Then she squeezed in a pedicure before getting ready to go out for the evening. Now we get to the really good part - our friend Monica offered to watch the kids for us so we could go out for the evening and even stay at a hotel overnight.

Knowing that we were going to be out on the town, and that it's a very rare occurrence since having kids, I decided to purchase an outfit for her as a birthday present that she could wear that evening. I went to Kohl's with the kids and decided on a stylish looking black number. Then I found some shoes to match and headed home.

Now let me say that while I thought the outfit would probably fit her, I also expected it to be less than stellar and that she would choose to take the whole thing back and pick something different out. This is mainly because it's hard to tell how something will fit and look when it's just hanging from a hangar.

As it turned out - the entire outfit was way better than I expected, both in fit and appearance. She looked absolutely gorgeous in it! The proof is in the picture below.

After leaving the kids with Monica, me and my hottie wife headed to The 4th Street Grille for dinner. When we got there we found the ambiance inside to be acceptable, but not as good as we had hoped, especially since we felt so elegantly dressed (especially compared to normal). We almost left to go somewhere else, but decided to stick it out instead - and boy were we grateful that we did. The food there was incredible!

Amanda's pork chop was the best either of us had ever tasted - seriously. And my rib eye steak was covered in seasoning and cooked to perfection. It was one of the best steaks that I had eaten in a long time. The rest of the meal, including the wine, was phenomenal as well. You can see our meal with us in the picture below.

We followed up the meal by walking around the Westfield plaza, getting coffee at Starbucks, then driving to Rick's Dessert Diner for the last course of the evening.

Finally, full but happy, we checked into the hotel and crashed for the night. At this point I need to give a special thanks to Monica O'Brien for making it possible to wake up two hours later than usual the next day. What a rare treat!

Although the day itself was busy, I think/hope it turned out to be a truly blessed birthday for her. And to be honest, that's even more gratifying than my own birthday.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

OK, so 1 out of 3 isn't bad, right?

In May I ran a 7+ mile (12km) race while pushing our two kids in the double jogger. Through the hills of San Francisco even.

When I recently gave blood, my blood pressure reading was measured at 110/62. Apparently this is pretty good since the attendant was impressed.

I also recently had a dental check up and cleaning, and the dental assistant commented on how white my teeth were. Of course, bleaching them in December probably helped.

My basketball game has been improving, albeit slowly. While usually I'm average at best, every once in a while I have a stud game.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first eye checkup in about 5 years, and was quite pleased to hear that I don't need glasses or contacts since my vision is still very close to 20/20.

So at almost 37 years old, my health is still pretty decent. And while I can credit myself with some of this success (exercising, sensible eating, etc), the older I get, the more the more grateful I am to God for blessing me with good joints, a properly functioning heart and lungs, eyes that can see, etc.

Now I just need to work on the other two goals in the title.


Since Amanda already posted about our new (well, by new I mean a 2003 with 100,000 miles) minivan, I'm going to post a picture of a sticker that was placed on the driver's side window before we bought it.

I only wish I'd seen it sooner. Then we would never have bought this vehicle. After all, it contains oil, fuel, and other dangerous fluids and substances!

Our taxpayer money hard at work.
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