DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Paleo Diet

This article actually explains the Paleo diet and variations in a pretty clear manner.

The restrictive version reminds me of the MS Diet that several people have recommended for me. Some of the basics sound like things a lot of us already try to do. I think the less restrictive versions could be worth trying.

I was amused by the bloodletting commentary. I guess I do that since I have my blood taken every month for my drug trial--and a LOT taken every quarter.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making healthier food choices

How much change is needed? Some people can go all out; the rest of us make changes where we can. An amusing article that says the same:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I love books!

While I was packing my books, I considered thinning but I wasn't ready. I've always wanted a library and love to collect books (for reading, not investments.) Perhaps I would be more willing to get rid of some books if I could keep track of what I've read. I don't really have time to reread a lot of books, but I'm too forgetful. Of course, upside is that if I reread something, it's like reading it for the first time. Okay, not really, but kind of.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Breakthrough MS treatment? Part 2

I made a blog entry at the end of November about a "breakthrough" MS treatment. It is starting to get some media: The video is long, especially if you let it continue on past the first clip. The US and Canada are both starting to investigate the possibility that this could actually work for some people with MS. Unfortunately, it takes forever to get anything done. It seems very promising....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food Tips

From "Freeze that Thought"

Freeze beans in water or liquid.

Wrap two corn tortillas at a time in wax paper, then in a plastic bag; freeze flat. The same technique works well for cooked waffles and pancakes.

Make burritos, wrap them individually (first in wax paper, then in plastic), and microwave in a couple of minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Agility class

Speed weaving (weaves had guides on one set, another without) was great. Teka really started to put her head down and get serious about her weaves, and Cassi didn't skip weaves at all! Whoo-hoo, you go girls!

We also did a cool exercise where there were maybe eight jumps in a large circle with a tunnel outside one "corner" and a table on the opposite outside "corner." We didn't use all the jumps but it was to practice 270s or around. There was wrap, out, here, round.

We did a distance exercise with two jumps, a tunnel, and two jumps in a U form, but also a tunnel on each side of the U, so we did out and here and switch.

The practice site has permanent kennels now. Nice that I don't need to take a kennel but I will have to take a mat for the princess diva Teka. :)

Care MS

Monthly survey done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Medical Marijuana

Interesting article about the research route for medical marijuana. It appears that the reason there is not more research showing the benefits of MM is that the only supply available to researchers is through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which controls the supply grown at the University of Mississippi. As their name implies, they do not want any benefits shown for marijuana use.

"As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use," said Shirley Simson, a spokeswoman for the drug abuse institute, known as NIDA. "We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana." Researchers investigating LSD, Ecstasy and other illegal drugs can use any of a number of suppliers licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dr. Doblin said. And if a researcher wants to use a variety of marijuana that the University of Mississippi does not grow--and there are many with differing medicinal properties--they are out of luck, Dr. Doblin said.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Legislation always lags education

The FDA is finally investigating BPA in plastics and food packaging; they said it was safe in 2008. In the meantime, many of us have been buying other types of containers and reducing our BPA exposure as much as possible. While their research (which will take 18-24 months) will likely show what we already know, isn't is a little too little, too late? Apparently, a "food additive" is harder to regulate than a "food contact substance" so they will be working on changing the classification of BPA for easier regulation.

"health officials suggested a number of things people could do to limit their exposure to BPA, like throwing away scratched or worn bottles or cups made with BPA (it can leak from the scratches), not putting very hot liquids into cups or bottles with BPA and checking the labels on containers to make sure they are microwave safe. The drug agency also recommended that mothers breastfeed their infants for at least 12 months; liquid formula contains traces of BPA. "

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Unexpectedly Not Typical Wegman

I was disappointed with the Unexpected Wegman exhibit at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. I heard that I might be (it was not much of his usual Weimaraner photos) so I thought the Young@Art Exhibit would be the highlight--it was closed for an exhibit change. So the best part was eating a late lunch at Los Olivos, a really cool old building next door.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Cute idea based on the bento box: and includes lunch ideas.

And word of the day is retrofitting.

Friday, January 15, 2010


A good article explaining what High Fructose Corn Syrup is, including links to more:

Spoiler alert: it's not good for you, it's not healthy, and it's is a cheap preservative.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sunglasses vs contact lenses

...which is better for the environment? An article on Slate discusses the measurable-ish factors. Somewhat interesting, but I'm still wearing contacts. I'd have to add more skin care products if I wore glasses-- I always had Tzone issues when I wore them. Of course, I could get Lasik. Okay, I could get evaluated for it; I've been told by the optometrist that I'm unlikely to be a good candidate. I'll talk to R after he gets his done.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Agility class

Tonight we did a "go" exercise, a distance exercise and a "box" jumping exercise. Teka has no distance, always watching me, but she started to get faster-ish on her weaves when there were other things to do afterwards, right in a straight line. Cassi did fabulous except she wasn't sure about the hoop (used for NADAC, so we haven't used it); otherwise she was pretty good although wild.

Monday, January 11, 2010

eco irony

Should an electric car be assembled in an old plant or should the old plant be demolished to build a "green" plant?

Is carbon offsetting just the bargaining stage of "grief"? (Does the earth actually benefit or is it mostly Mr. Gore that benefits?)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Doggie doo drain

At our current house, I have a doggy dooley that I've stopped using in advance of our move. M said installing the dooley was difficult enough that he doesn't want to do it again. It does require water added very often as well as an enzyme powder.

At the house we hope to get next year, it has a septic system. I ran across a product, the doggie doo drain ( that essentially is a funnel that can be put on the regular septic system. I'll have to see if we can do this! It does require water each time you add poo, so it will need to be close to a water spigot.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sustainable Fish List

*The Best of the Best: October 2009
  • Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
  • Mussels (farmed)
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
  • Pink Shrimp (wild-caught, from Oregon)
  • Rainbow Trout (farmed)
  • Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
  • Spot Prawns (wild-caught, from British Columbia)

**Other Healthy "Best Choices"
  • Arctic Char (farmed)
  • Bay Scallops (farmed)
  • Crayfish (farmed, from the U.S.)
  • Dungeness Crab (wild-caught, from California, Oregon or Washington)
  • Longfin Squid (wild-caught, from the U.S. Atlantic)
  • Pacific Cod (longline-caught, from Alaska)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas bomber's dad

So a father turns his son in for texting about a terrorist act. Thomas Friedman writes an interesting "it takes a village" article. My favorite quote: "We are the people of July 4th — not Sept. 11th." He goes on to say: "no laws or walls we put up will ever be sufficient to protect us unless the Arab and Muslim societies from whence these suicide bombers emerge erect political, religious and moral restraints as well — starting by shaming suicide bombers and naming their actions “murder,” not “martyrdom.”

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Food and farming

Interesting article from the California Cook that encourages a conversation about food and has many good points and refers to the law of unintended consequences, as seen in the last Green Revolution: "Developing tasteless fruits and vegetables was not the goal of the last Green Revolution; it was a side effect of a system designed to eliminate hunger by providing plentiful, inexpensive food, but that also ended up rewarding quantity over quality."

This applies to just about everything in life: "Don't assume that those who disagree with you are evil, stupid or greedy. And even when they are, that doesn't relieve you of the responsibility for making a constructive and convincing argument."

Some of the comments included:
  • ...eliminate hunger or capitalist system?
  • ...reminding us that "quality is more expensive than quantity." Too many of us are unwilling to devote more of our budgets to food in order to support a better food system.
  • In the quest for a better food system, subsidies for corn and soy need to be eliminated.
  • ...matter of national security,0,6888223.story

Somewhat related, an interesting article about heritage breeds. We used to get milk and beef products from a variety of cows? While the industrialization of agriculture has done great things to make food more available to all people, the side effect of making it less diverse was probably not anticipated.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Agility class: seminar

Tonight I had an agility seminar, explaining USDAA and running a Grand Prix course. Cassi was wound up but did pretty good; I had a late call on a jump and she had to re-do her weaves. Teka had to be cheered through it but she got REALLY excited at one point and was jumping around after coming out of the chute, so everyone was laughing at how cute she was. I had fun but my pain returned after I started to need to go pee. I took care of that but the pain is coming and going anyway. I'm going to head to bed shortly as my solution. :) Ah, to be active and NOT in pain. Not that the pain is caused by being active, but it's just so unpredictable.

Hope Research Center

I had my monthly blood draw, urine, etc done today. I reported that I stopped taking my Provigil for fatigue about 10 days ago. This is primarily because I have heard that others on the trial have had less fatigue and I don't like to take anything I don't have to take. I was actually starting to have some trouble sleeping so I was cutting back my dose. So far so good. I am tired but that's because I don't get enough sleep. I don't think, at least so far, that I am having fatigue or focus issues. We'll see....

Kachina cat

Kachina is not doing too well. I have been cleaning up her coughing up water/food for a couple of weeks kind of sporadically. I've also seen Cassi following her around and licking her butt like a mama cat--yuck! Well, this morning I found Kachina straining to poo, and she was walking around the house doing it. She was also vomiting.

I got her in to the vet and they are doing some labs for her constipation, etc. She is only 7 pounds now! That friggin hyperthyroid treatment hasn't helped her gain ANY weight at all. She was almost 12 pounds at her heaviest, so she's always been small, but I'm not sure if I am just delaying the inevitable at this point or I should jump through the hoops to find out what's wrong. Vet says probably GI related and after the labs come back, they might want to do Xrays, then if that doesn't help, an ultrasound, then a biopsy. It just seems like too much for a 17 year old cat, but where is the line? Now (labs) or the next step or the next one....?

Nutrition resolutions

Some resolutions I can borrow or aspire to eventually!

Adam Drewnowski, director of the University of Washington Center for Obesity Research in Seattle: The true value of foods lies in the nutrients they contain and not in the nutrients they lack. I will not be intimidated into choosing bland foods that are good for me merely by being "free" of this or the other ingredient. Rather, I will select foods that are nutrient-rich as well as affordable and appealing. Such foods can be found in supermarket aisles. One caution: This may require some cooking skills. And butter.

Make a commitment to shape our lives instead of shaping our bodies.

Set aside 30 minutes on Sunday nights to comb my trove of recipes and prepare a shopping list with ingredients for two recipes that I haven't made in recent history and one that I've never made.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Natural Air Purifiers

According to Discovery Health Tips, golden pothos, English ivy and peace lilies are popular choices for natural air purifiers.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wags for Wishes Agility Trial

It was really cold this morning--we could see our breath. We headed to the FAST ring. Cassi did okay but was not able to complete the send bonus. It was a tunnel and then teeter, with the tunnel coming out toward the line rather than the teeter, so she came out across the line. However, she did go back and attempt the teeter, so I was happy with her performance.

Teka was able to complete the course and the send bonus for 56 points (needing 50) under the time limit. I was excited about her run because she actually seemed excited and NOT stressed. This was her first qualifying score!

After the runs, we had a very long wait. I don't understand the way this trial runs. The jumpers and standard courses ran Excellent, Open, and Novice in that order. So they ran the Excellent small dogs in one ring and large dogs in the other, then swapped, while all the Open and Novice sit around doing nothing. Then they run Open in both rings, with Excellent LEAVING and Novice waiting some more. Then they run Novice jumpers followed by standard, in the hottest part of the day, while everyone is packing up and leaving. The Novice walk-through for standard was actually happening while the Novice jumpers were still running. Nothing like a little extra stress...

Anyway, we ran jumpers and they both ran over time, but Cassi finished strong and actually, Teka found her focus near the end. The standard course was just too long for the heat of the day for them. Teka got distracted by a guy that walked up to the ring right next to the Aframe and stood there and her weaves suck, but she didn't potty in the ring! Cassi flubbed her weaves and went under the tire jump at the end. I have to remember to just stop her when she does that instead of trying again! Oh, if only they had a better handler....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wags for Wishes Agility Trial

First was FAST class. I walked it differently for Cassi and Teka, but Cassi decided she wanted to go the way I was planning for Teka, kind of. She went over the first jump and then beelined for the teeter! And did it quickly! I actually thought we qualified but I must have stepped on the bonus line or something cause I got a fault and in FAST, you can only get a fault on the send bonus. She did the bonus, so I'm disappointed in whatever I did! Mike and his dad had a communication problem, so Mike was not there to see or video.

Teka went next, and actually did pretty well, but after she got through the tunnel for the send bonus, she didn't do the jump and came back across the line, so she got a fault too. And then she poo'd in the ring. Aargh! Well, at least she wasn't going to qualify anyway.

In Jumpers with Weaves, Cassi did very well, even got the weaves. Q!

Teka was harder to get through the course, but we managed to get through it. The weaves took long enough to keep her from getting a Q, and she had to be coached through every obstacle. She is a LOT of work.

Our last course was Standard. Cassi did very well, including a tire jump and a fast teeter. She took a bit of a detour when I had a late call; she came off the dog walk and over a jump, and I called her to the weaves but she was already heading off to explore. I got her back and had to coach her into a sit on the table, but she managed to get her Q. Whew....

Teka started off well, but she wasted a lot of time on the weaves and never got the last one (and it was only 6!), so she did not Q. The upside is that she did all the obstacles and I was able to get her attention when she started looking for a place to pee.

Another interesting thing today was that Teka is acting like she wants to play with other dogs on occasion, so I am encouraging her with a good girl. Of course the one time she did it in front of Mike, she started growling, so I smacked her butt lightly with the floppy Frisbee to break her focus on the other dog, and led her away. (It was someone who knows us.) I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but I don't want her to think that other dogs mean bad things for her.

I am trying to keep my hopes low, but Cassi could finish two titles tomorrow. (JWW and FAST) My goals for tomorrow are: with Cassi, fast teeter, no hesitation on the tire, and for me, early calls; for Teka, keeping her motivated and reducing her stress level, completing the course and hopefully all of the obstacles. A complete weave from Teka would be awesome!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

We went to R and D's house last night to bring in the new year. It was fun, with a very slow boat ride included.

I would like to do these things this year:
  • spend more time with family (I have written a monthly goal in my planner)
  • spend more time with friends (I have written a monthly goal in my planner)
  • track my active time and make sure it exceeds an amount I have in my planner
  • continue to learn how to live healthier
  • get more sleep!
I am hoping to put together the 2nd and 3rd goals with less food related activities with my friends and more fun stuff like skating, rock climbing, hiking, etc. (I know that's not going to happen with family!) Getting 8 hours of shut eye is going to be hard but it's a big goal: one day at a time.