Sourdough article

March 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Family, Health & Fitness 

The Chronicle came out with yet another article on bread, sourdough — my favorite.

I get hungry just thinking about it.

Check out the article here.

We may need to watch our pursestrings more closely these days, but I suggest springing for some yummy sourdough once in a while!

Chronicle Article on Bread

March 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Family, Health & Fitness 

I’ve previously written about my fondness for bread (has it really been a year?), and I just came across an article in the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle that I wanted to share:

Chronicle article

In my own post, I spoke about the joys of freshly baked bread, but I never really thought about old, stale bread and what a myriad of uses for it are available.

Live and learn.

Enjoy!

What the World Needs More of

May 12, 2008 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Family, Health & Fitness, Philosophy 

With apologies to Jackie DeShannon and Burt Bacharach

What the world needs more of are hugs, big hugs
For the smallest tots to the largest of lugs
What the world needs more of are hugs, big hugs,
For friends and “enemies”, and even your pugs.

First off, they’re free and they’re effortless
And they’re warm, and they’re comforting, too
They show compassion, forgiveness and friendliness
And openness, it’s love through and through

What the world needs more of are hugs, huge hugs
It’s the social thing that we often don’t do
What the world needs more of are hugs, sweet hugs,
For everyone from here to Timbuktu

Please don’t let your egos get in the way
As we work to-gether face to face
On the issues that affect all our days
After all, we’re all part of the human race

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
Expressed so simply as the act of hugs
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone

I’ve always liked the original lyrics, but it’s pretty abstract. Hugs are more tangible.

Have you hugged someone lately?

5 Reasons I Stopped Watching TV (or at least watch less)

January 29, 2008 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Health & Fitness, Philosophy, Smarter View 

I found the recent Yahoo! Finance article 7 Extreme Ways to Save Money pretty interesting. It basically discussed various (extreme) ways to cut costs. For me, the last one mentioned is the simplest:

Ditch the TV

The Yahoo! article says by trashing the TV, people would be saving money because they’d no longer be bombarded by ads, which makes sense, right? However, I think the idea of either no longer watching (or watching much less) television is worthy of an entire post.

Disclaimer – I DO Watch TV

First of all, I will admit that growing up, I was a TV junkie. My summers were often spent watching reruns of everything from Leave It to Beaver to Gilligan’s Island to Star Trek and Monkees. So, yes, I’ve watched my share of TV, and a lot of who I am did come from the influence of TV shows (see my post on Star Trek).

Today, my weak spot is Heroes.

But really, with our society so bathed in media 24/7, sometimes it’s a good idea to simply…disconnect.

Benefits of Foregoing TV

Being self employed and with a family as well, I find I have very little time for TV anyway. If it’s on these days, it’s really only for the kids.

For me, here’s what not watching the ol’ tube has allowed:

  1. I’ve Regained the Opportunity Costs – for me, this is the most important. This means that instead of spending time watching TV, that time is now used for something else that’s more productive, such as spending time with the family, doing chores (brownie points from the spouse), working (good for clients), or sleeping (good for me :-) )
  2. I’m more Proactive – TV is a passive medium. You sit there and simply get spoken to. When it’s on, I get into the mindless and time-wasting habit of channel surfing, trying to find something worth watching. Now, I either read, do some exercise, or go out for a walk.
  3. I Free my Mind – When I’m not watching TV, I no longer have to get enthralled in some reality show, listen to a get-rich-quick-scheme, hear about the latest diet fad, or be cajoled into calling right now while operators are standing by to get the extra free knife set (still have the pay shipping)! When I think about it, those shows serve no real good purpose except to eat up my time. I’m not going to be on Jeopardy! or do anything where useless TV knowledge will come in handy, and I certainly don’t need to buy more stuff. Because it’s easy to access, cheap (or free), and there’s a lot of it, TV is like junk food for the mind. Free yourself from its grasp, and now you’re able to think.
  4. I Have a Quieter Household – In the old days, I used to turn on the TV, and it would be on for hours, even if I was doing something else. But now, with it usually off, it’s much more peaceful — and I can even listen to music.
  5. I Can Appreciate the Good Shows more – Now, on the rare occasion I do watch a show, it’s more of a well-deserved break from my busy day. I’m sure the experience will never be like in the Golden Age of Television where families tuned into live shows, but at least I am more in control of my own life. And I pick and choose more carefully the one or two shows to watch for simple entertainment.

Try Less TV

Television is a powerful medium, with great influence on people who watch. I am not saying we should completely ban TV, either. I have simply just found that now that I really don’t watch TV that much, I have more time to simply be myself, and to think for myself and do the things I want to do in this life.

If you watch more than an hour a day, try taking a break for a week with the mindset you’ll do some of the things you’ve always wanted to work on (read that book, work on that painting, go workout, etc.)

You might like it.

Quick Thinking: Driving Safely

January 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Health & Fitness, UnCommon Sense 

I know I touched on Driving Efficiently, but here’s a quick, simple tip on how to drive safely. It applies to both drivers and pedestrians:

Make Eye Contact with Other Drivers

Whenever I’m driving and come upon an intersection, whether I’m required to stop or not, and there is a car waiting, I strive to make eye contact with the car’s driver.

I often notice many drivers usually do not attempt to make eye contact, but rather they look only at the other car. However, only Autobots drive themselves, so it’s more important make sure that the other driver sees you, otherwise the odds of an accident increases.

This especially applies even when you’re a pedestrian. In fact, even more so, as your very life can be on the line.

I recall being one of three passengers in a car driven by a friend who was a fairly new driver. Upon making a right turn, she braked, and then looked left for oncoming traffic, unaware that on the right a mother and her child were about to cross the street. Our friend proceeded to turn, and almost ran them over! We were horrified, but luckily no one was hurt.

For me, there were two lessons to be learned:

  1. My friend was in the wrong — she failed to look right to make sure it was safe to turn.
  2. The mother did not look at my friend — she only noticed the car was stopped (momentarily while my friend looked for oncoming traffic). Had she tried to make eye contact, she would have noticed that my friend had not seen her. She should have then waited until either saw that my friend saw her, or until the car had made its (rude) turn.

To this day, I am especially careful crossing the street (even when the light is green). When it comes to Human vs Auto — Auto wins. Every time.

Be safe!

Quitting Smoking: The Big Picture

Okay, we all know that smoking is an unhealthy habit. We know that smoking usually leads to health problems and a probably an early death (unless your first name is George and your last name is Burns).

We also know that it’s often glamorized in film and other media, and that nicotine is highly addictive, blah, blah, blah.

I’m not here to talk about all that, although I just did.

What I would like to point out is the bigger picture on why one should not smoke:

Smokers are Litterers

Smokers litter like there’s no tomorrow — probably 8 out of 10 smokers will throw their butts on the ground. Ech! Quit smoking and you’ll be beautifying not only your lungs, but the environment you share with fellow humans.

Smoking Profits Others at Your Expense

Smoking is one of the ultimate exploitation of the masses. When you think about it, whoever owns the tobacco fields, manufactures the cigarettes, distributes and sells them also know the ill effects of their products (if they say they don’t, they’re lying). But they don’t care about you, they only care about profit for themselves. Therefore, if you are someone who is totally against big corporate “evil”, then quitting smoking will make you less of a hypocrite (even more so if you’re a doctor).

Smoking is the Ultimate Selfishness

So odds are that smoking will put you into the hospital at some point. For lung cancer or emphysema or heart ailments — whatever — you’ll be in one of those rooms, lying in bed, on a respirator no doubt.

BUT, guess who else will be there, if you’re lucky: your loved ones.

Not only will you be suffering, but they will suffer even more if they truly love you (but maybe they don’t, but that would mean you have other issues). You will see the pain and sorrow in their faces as they look over you.

When you smoke today, it’s a sure investment in a loved one’s future anguish (and that return on investment is a pretty sure thing, better than some Internet stocks, I’d wager).

That, my friend, is the final reason to quit today: Don’t just quit for yourself, quit for your loved ones.

I have never smoked, but have often thought about the people I’ve known who do (or did). I hope that you find these ideas different from all the other information out there on how quitting smoking would only benefit you.

In the end, our own actions often have a ripple effect, and smoking is something that truly affects other people as it does the smoker. As such, it’s something over which you totally have control, that is, if you want to.

If you need help quitting, try these sites:

If you wish, please comment, and if you like to keep reading about ideas to live a more positive life, subscribe to my RSS feed.