31 March 2006

As Peter Kareithi Would Say...

This really gets my goat.

On March 10, 2006, I sent a letter to Arrendale State Prison in Georgia. Along with the letter, I sent stamps (four to be exact) and a business card. I figured it would take 7 days for the letter to arrive, and another 8 before I got a reply. Sure enough, I got a letter on March 28th. Only it was MY letter, sent back to me. It had been opened, and taped closed with the words "stamps not allowed" written on the front.

I really appreciate that my letter wasn't just thrown away. I am also pleased to know that the staff at Lee Arrendale doesn't remove stuff from letters. However, it was just 4 little stamps. I hardly think it was worth it to send it all the way from Alto, GA to Las Vegas, NV just so I can repackage it without the stamps and send it back. That's a lot of traveling for one little letter. Especially since I sent a follow up letter the day before I received the first letter. Prisons (apparently) do not allow priority mail. So my letters will be out of order. And if you know me, you know how that would get my goat.

Immigration: I

This week, the word is immigration, and the phrase is illegal immigration. If you've been in a cave, or don't live in these United States, let me catch you up.

In December, the House of Representatives passed an immigration reform bill. It makes it a felony to be here illegally. On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a separate bill. It doesn't criminalize, and gives illegal people a chance to become legal with having to leave the country first. This is a nice overview, although it's dated.

The debate is vehement. There are those who contend people who want tougher immigration laws are racists. Personally, I don't think that's true. I think the main argument against illegal immigrants (or undocumented workers) is that they drive wages down. Of course that means they also drive prices down. I firmly believe if the illegals stood together and demanded higher pay, there wouldn't be as much of a fuss.

I also don't buy into the "jobs Americans won't do." I watch Dirty Jobs w/ Mike Rowe. I know there are a lot of gross and difficult jobs people do because they need to eat, pay bills, support families, etc. I think Americans have standards, which I see as a result of being American. So instead of "jobs Americans won't do," it should be "jobs companies won't pay a decent wage to have done."

And of course there are terrorists. We need to watch our borders for those determined to do us harm. And according to the Government Accountability Office, we're not doing such a good job.

I'm not going to give you a detailed description of my plan to secure the border and stop illegal immigration. One day I'll run for office and this might still be a crisis. So I might need my brilliant idea. But I appreciate the debate. What I don't appreciate are the student protests. I really don't think the high school students clogging streets across the country and waving Mexican flags know what's going on. I hear them on TV talking about Congress being racist and trying to make them criminals. I bet if this were happening during summer vacation, there would be so many student protests.

27 March 2006

More Wedding Pictures

There's not much more to say about Heather & Nick's wedding. It was really nice and I had a good time. But I took lots of pictures solely for blogging purposes. So here they are, in no particular order. I hope there aren't any repeats.

25 March 2006

The Answer...

A few days ago, I asked you guys and gals a question. Today I give you the answer.

First, Here's the question:
What foods increase fertility rates?
Calcium rich foods
Anything as long as it includes flowers, a couple bottles of wine, and a nice night of dancing
again, fancy poll stuff from pollhost.com

And the answer is:

A: Walnuts actually have the highest quantity of omega-3 fatty acids of all nuts. Omega 3s improve fertility rates in both males and females by improving the functional swimming ability of the sperm and improving the environment implantation in the women. Other reasons may exist as well.

Source: Rozien, Michael F. and Mehmet C. Oz. "Your Body, Your Home: Super Health." You The Owner's Manual An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger. Harper Reference: New York, 2005. 26.

21 March 2006

I Present to You...

Mr. & Mrs. Nick Vinje. Remember when Heather & Nick Came to Town? Well they came back with their families last week to get married. They performed their nuptuals at the esthetic Aladdin Hotel & Casino, currently being converted to a generic Planet Hollywood.

Heather and I have a fun story. In 2002, Heather quit her job at KVLY to work in Ohio. I then took her job. Ohio was pretty crappy for Heather, so she moved back. Eventually, she was back at KVLY, then at KXJB. Then I got a new job at a place I'm not sure I'm allowed to name and Heather took my job, which was really her job to begin with.

Heather and Nick have their own story which I don't know well enough to tell. On March 18, 2006, they got married. If you don't know them, you don't really care. If you do know them, you just want to see the pictures. So here they are, or at least some of them. I'll put up more this week. This is just to appease HMS.

20 March 2006

The First "Lesson"

Remember my unofficial health bible? Well here's our first lesson, and it's a question. What kind of stuff would you like to see here? I have factoids about why people who have heart attacks feel pain in other parts of their bodies, e.g.:
... The heart itself does not feel pain; it does not have specific pain fibers. The heart's nerves do not feel pain directly. But when something is going wrong with the heart, its nerves may become electrically unstable. And when they cross the spinal column, they may short circuit other nerves...

Source: Rozien, Michael F. and Mehmet C. Oz. "The Beat Goes On: Your Heart And Arteries." You The Owner's Manual An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger. Harper Reference: New York, 2005. 32.
or I have steps for healthier bodies, e.g.:
Eat at least one handful of nuts a day. Nuts are an excellent source of both healthful fats and healthful protein; they also can be concentrated sources of flavanoids, an antioxidant...

You should eat three portions of fish per week. Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon and whitefish like cod or bass,is high in those omega-3 fatty acids... They appear to reduce triglyceride levels in the blood (high levels cause plaque buildup in the arteries), stabilize the heartbeat (reducing irregular rhythms), make platelets less sticky (reducing clotting), and may bring down blood pressure as well... The best fish are wild, line-caught salmon... mahi mahi, catfish, flounder (sole), tilapia, and whitefish.

Source: Rozien, Michael F. and Mehmet C. Oz. "The Beat Goes On: Your Heart And Arteries." You The Owner's Manual An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger. Harper Reference: New York, 2005. 60-61.
I'm interested in both. I find the factoids fascinating. But the better living will come from the steps they tell you to take. Do you prefer one or the other? Let me know. Before I started learning stuff, I took the quiz. Here's one of the 50 questions:

What foods increase fertility rates?
Calcium rich foods
Anything as long as it includes flowers, a couple bottles of wine, and a nice night of dancing
Poll Technology from Pollhost.com
Go ahead and vote. The answer is scheduled to appear in 48-72 hours, depending on how many people answer.

Also ahead this month, the Nick and Heather wedding. The post is under construction but will include many of the 100 pictures I took (I got caught up in the moment). After that, pictures straight from the east coast, where I will be heading on Wednesday to see my mommy, brother, and other family members. Stay tuned!

16 March 2006

Desert Living

Here's a little something about desert living: it's dry. So dry in fact, that for the past week I have woken up in the middle of the night with my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. One of those times I thought it a good idea to just rip my tongue away. Do you know what happened? It hurt. Now my tongue feels like I burned it.

It happened again this morning. I couldn't even swallow, but I was prepared. I splashed some water in my mouth and was able to move my tongue without incident. I then closed my mouth.

Naturally the first word to come to mind is "humidifier." But I will not be getting one. Remember my owner's manual? It talks about humidifiers briefly, saying:

"Most people don't change air filters and humidifiers with enough regularity, so they're not that effective. Unless humidifiers are cleaned regularly, they'll form a cesspool of water, which grows mold and fungi, and then you end up breathing it."

Source: You, The Owner's Manual

The words "cesspool" and "mold" were enough to turn me off of the humidifier idea. Of course I could clean it regularly, but I know I won't. I'm just going to stick to the water next to the bed and complaining. My advice to you: If there's water in your air, appreciate your spit!

13 March 2006

A Manual Worth Reading

Remember when I announced my lifestyle change? Well I meant it. Like I said, I joined the Las Vegas Track Club and am (was?) training for a marathon. My legs are much tougher but I have no idea what it's doing for my blood pressure. I'm on medication for it so I don't know if any of the changes I've made have affected it. (Also, as of today I'm back on the roller blades so results can start showing up any time.)

Anyway, everyone has been really supportive of what I'm trying to do. But the award goes to Abigail and Tabitha. That's Abby in the blue, and Tab with the Mike. Ab & Tab (aren't the precious) have goals very similar to mine. We support each other in making healthy decisions every day, or almost every day, or whenever we're all not super busy with our own lives. But we try for every day.

For my birthday, the girls got me a book: You: The Owner's Manual. If you like watching medical shows about your insides, this is the book for you. It's really quite good. It's explaining how things work on my insides and how I can get optimal results from the foods I eat.

I got the book in January and didn't start reading until the end of February. I found that I wanted to spend more time on my blog. Then once I started reading, I made no time for my blog. So what was I to do?

Well I figured it out. I'm going to finish the book (I'm about halfway done). But along the way I'm going to leave some lessons here. That way I'll have something to write, a way to make sure I know what I'm reading, and I'll have something to look back and read once I'm done reading. It'll be like I'm taking notes, and you're all cheating off of me.

08 March 2006

Who Makes The Best Decisions?

I saw this and found it interesting. The Washington Post has something called The U.S. Congress Votes Database. You probably need a WA Post username to see it. It has every vote in Congress since 1991. It also allows you to sort the votes for or against by astrological sign. Of course you can sort using other criteria such as race, age, state, and sex. But certainly none are more interesting than astrological signs. Through this database I expect we can see what's wrong with those at the top. Although if you ask me, it's obvious without the research. Simply put: there aren't enough Capricorns in Washington.

07 March 2006

Walking Woes

Hello, and welcome to March 2006. As with February 2006, the month started rather slow. There were things I could have written about, but I was preoccupied with another debate that had nothing to do with my hair.

Way back when I realized my insides were betraying me with the high blood pressure, I joined the Las Vegas Track Club. My first goal was to run a half marathon in December 2006. But Las Vegas doesn't have a half marathon. So I figured I could just walk a full marathon. But more than wanting to complete a marathon, I wanted a group with which I could exercise. So I signed up.

Training was hard and got easier every week (we train at 7am on Sundays). Ten miles was a breeze. The week after that we jumped to 12. My walking buddies weren't going to be there and as I was leaving (and Jesse was just coming home) he said he'd walk with me if we went a little later. How could I resist? A few hours later we set out to do 10 miles. At least I did. Jesse suggested 8 once we started, then 7 once we reached the 3.5 mile marker. And it was a good thing we turned around when we did. Jesse was destroyed. He slept for almost a whole day afterwards, and got to know my heating pad pretty well. But he was a trooper. Bless his little back.

So I went from 10 miles to 7 . Then I got sick and didn't do my walking homework. But I showed up bright and early Sunday morning for 13 miles. That was a bad idea. I did the walk, without my walking buddies in about 3 hours and 40 minutes. The trouble is, I was bored. After about 10 miles I wanted to quit. But that's the rub! I had to keep walking to get back to my car. I was in physical pain by the time I finished.

So here's the dilemma, and here are my options. Do I continue to train for the marathon, or do I keep meeting with the group to do 10 miles a week and get stronger that way? It's only going to get longer every week. I don't want my morning work out to take more than 4 hours. Actually, I don't want it to take more than 2. If I stick to 10 miles I might actually start to run and get faster and thereby achieve my original goal of being able to run a half marathon.

But I'm not a quitter. But this wasn't my goal, I just fell into it. What say you?