News And Notes

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News and Notes from the past few days …

The (Brief) Farm Report:  Guineas Gone – Again

I’m pretty sure Chareva is ready now to give up on her plan to employ guinea fowl as bug-eating machines on our land.  As I reported in a previous post, our first flock of guineas decided to take a hike as soon as we moved them from the basement to the chicken yard.  We saw them waddling around the land for a couple of days, but then they were gone –probably eaten by some local predators.  Those guinea fowl were pretty young (we were hoping they’d bond with the young chickens and all sing Kumbiya in the coop at night), so we decided the mistake was putting them outside too soon.

For the second flock of ten, Chareva kept them in a big ol’ dog kennel in the front yard for two months, hoping they’d think of it as home and stick around.  That part of the plan worked.  When she opened the pen last week, they wandered around and ate bugs, but stayed pretty close.  She figured it was safe to let them wander because they were fully grown by this time and we’d read that guinea fowl are tough little birds who flock together and raise a ruckus to ward off predators.  They can also fly, which you’d think would save them from becoming a fast-food meal for foxes and coyotes.

So much for that theory.  As I was on my way to Chicago on Friday, Chareva called to tell me that we had one surviving guinea fowl.  She found bunches of feathers in various spots on the land and one headless carcass.  Something managed to attack and kill them in less than a day.  Whatever it was, the guinea fowl didn’t  fly to safety or bunch together and scare it off.  All we’ve done in two attempts at raising guinea fowl is provide tasty meals for some local predators.

The lone survivor is now living within the confines of the chicken yard.

College Bans Pork

Yeah, that’ll help … a college president has decided students shouldn’t be allowed to eat pork on campus:

A world without bacon may just be one we don’t want to live in, but Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College in Texas, couldn’t care less. In an announcement on the college’s website this week, he banned pork and all pork-related products from his campus in an effort to steer his student body into more mindful food choices.

I don’t know what President Sorrell’s definition of a “mindful food choice” is, but  I’m quite mindful when I eat pork.  I say to myself several times per meal, “Man, this is some goooood pork!”  Perhaps he’s envisioning a scenario like this:

“I’m sorry, we’re not allowed to serve you bacon anymore.  Would you mind if we put turkey sausage on your plate instead?”

“Yes, I’d mind that very much.”

“Congratulations on your mindful choice.”

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Sorrell explained, “When you come to college, you come to be educated.”

Yes, President Sorrell, that’s exactly right.  I went to college to be educated, not to have some busy-body college president tell me what I could and couldn’t eat.

“We thought we could do more in the area of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and healthy eating habits.”

Well, sir, all you’ve done is prove that you’re the one who needs to be educated.  Half the fat in pork is monosaturated – like olive oil – and rest will raise your HDL.  It’s good for you.

Though the ban on pork was met with applause by students …

So some students are applauding because other students won’t be allowed to eat pork on campus anymore?  I fear for the future of my country.  The concept of individual liberty doesn’t seem to resonate with many people these days.

If you think pork is bad for you, don’t eat it.  If others choose to eat pork, that’s none of your @#$%ing business.  You shouldn’t be applauding this Big Brother nonsense, you student dimwits; you should be raising holy hell about it.

… others don’t find much merit in Sorrell’s beliefs that “the other white meat” is inherently unhealthy. According to Ceci Snyder, a registered dietician and the spokeswoman for the National Pork Board, pork tenderloin has the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast. “You can cook any meat incorrectly and add fat and salt.”

Geez, even the National Pork Board is falling for the low-fat nonsense.  Ms. Snyder, there’s nothing wrong with fat and salt … unless you prefer your meat without any flavor.

Progress on the knee

I’m mostly on one crutch now, trying to train the left leg to adopt a natural walking motion again, albeit with less weight on it.  I can do it, but the knee swells up after awhile.  I can push it into a totally straight position with my hands, but can’t pull it into that position with my own leg muscles yet.  The knee freezes with a few degrees to go.  The physical therapist tells me that’s mostly muscle panic … the muscles seize up around the knee to protect it, even though I consciously want to straighten it.

Going in the other direction, the knee will bend to 113 degrees.  That means I’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s 12 degrees more bend than I could manage last week.

Helpful Citizens

Dimwitted college students who applaud when college presidents forbid other students to eat pork notwithstanding, being on crutches has given me a positive outlook on people.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many people have gone out their way to be helpful.  At both baseball stadiums in Chicago over the weekend, people held doors for me when they saw me coming, and a few actually trotted back to a door they’d already exited to hold it open.  At every elevated train or subway stop over the weekend, the people waiting to get on a train waved at me to get on before they did.  On the crowded elevated train heading to Wrigley Field, a woman insisted I take her seat.

If I find myself in a grumpy mood after the knee heals, I may dig out the crutches and go visit a few public places to remind myself how nice people can be.

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88 thoughts on “News And Notes

  1. nonegiven

    They had my mom ice her knee for 20 minutes at a time to keep the swelling down. We put alcohol and water (1 part alcohol and 4 parts water) into gallon sized ziploc bags, double bagged and kept 4 in the freezer. Every time she finished with the machine they had her use and every time she finished her exercises, we’d put one under and one over with a towel between her knee and the ice bag and wrap something around and pin it to hold it on. She was on the machine 2 hours, two times a day and did her exercises 2 times a day so it was pretty much a full time job to get over knee replacement.

    I’ve become a big fan of icing. I’m supposed to go 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. During my car trips to Chicago, I put ice in a ziplog bag and wrapped a big cloth around it to hold it in place.

    Reply
  2. js290

    If Paul Quinn College is a private school, they can do whatever they want. If the students don’t like it, they can choose to go to another school.

    It is private school and yes, the school administration can impose the rules it chooses. On the other hand, the students are the customers who keep that school alive and can (and should) raise hell about a school president telling young adults what they can eat.

    Reply
  3. Bullinachinashop

    His being still alive is proof that Texans aren’t as into gun ownership as we thought.

    At the very least, I’d expect a thriving black market in ribs and bacon.

    Reply
  4. Jessica

    So where were your rottweilers when the guineas were being attacked and eaten? Sounds like they were slacking.

    The rotties live in the back yard, which is fenced in. They won’t have the run of the property until we get it all fenced off, which is a large and expensive job.

    Reply
  5. nonegiven

    They had my mom ice her knee for 20 minutes at a time to keep the swelling down. We put alcohol and water (1 part alcohol and 4 parts water) into gallon sized ziploc bags, double bagged and kept 4 in the freezer. Every time she finished with the machine they had her use and every time she finished her exercises, we’d put one under and one over with a towel between her knee and the ice bag and wrap something around and pin it to hold it on. She was on the machine 2 hours, two times a day and did her exercises 2 times a day so it was pretty much a full time job to get over knee replacement.

    I’ve become a big fan of icing. I’m supposed to go 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off. During my car trips to Chicago, I put ice in a ziplog bag and wrapped a big cloth around it to hold it in place.

    Reply
  6. js290

    If Paul Quinn College is a private school, they can do whatever they want. If the students don’t like it, they can choose to go to another school.

    It is private school and yes, the school administration can impose the rules it chooses. On the other hand, the students are the customers who keep that school alive and can (and should) raise hell about a school president telling young adults what they can eat.

    Reply
  7. Bullinachinashop

    His being still alive is proof that Texans aren’t as into gun ownership as we thought.

    At the very least, I’d expect a thriving black market in ribs and bacon.

    Reply
  8. mezzo

    That college president is just living proof of the fact that you do not need to ingest pork in order to be pig-headed.

    Reply
  9. Jessica

    So where were your rottweilers when the guineas were being attacked and eaten? Sounds like they were slacking.

    The rotties live in the back yard, which is fenced in. They won’t have the run of the property until we get it all fenced off, which is a large and expensive job.

    Reply
  10. Jana

    I had the same experience when I used crutches. However, when I’m carrying a carseat (with a baby inside) or holding a baby in my arms, the reaction is not quite the same. People actually ignore me and act as if I can wrestle a heavy door by myself. Maybe it’s just where I live.

    That’s surprising.

    Reply
  11. Rae

    I don’t eat pork for religious reasons, but I am still annoyed by the pork ban. I just can’t stand other people making decisions for me about what’s healthy or not – because they are often wrong! And it’s none of their business anyway.

    Bingo. Your choice is your choice, not something to impose on others.

    Reply
  12. Beowulf

    I actually make a conscious effort to limit my bacon and sausage consumption to some extent. The stuff is SO tasty that I could have it everyday for breakfast. However, I respect that it’s a higher omega-6 meat, so I keep it to a few servings/week. I limit [though certainly don’t exclude] chicken fat (skin) for the same reason. I’m more than happy to chow down on fatty beef. I would raise hell if someone else told me how much of those two items I could eat, though.

    My school district actually does turkey sausage at the breakfast meals [when they have animal protein at all]. It probably started as a “health” thing, but it is convenient for the small but growing population of Muslim students in the district since they don’t eat pork.

    If your district is a public school, I don’t think they should be choosing menu items based on some students’ religious preferences.

    Reply
  13. mezzo

    That college president is just living proof of the fact that you do not need to ingest pork in order to be pig-headed.

    Reply
  14. Kim

    Sorry to sound conspiratorial, but could this be a secret way to get campus Muslims what they want rather than it being truly about health?

    I loved your last line. So glad to hear you were treated compassionately on your crutches.

    I hadn’t thought of that. I’m not sure how much of a Muslim population there is at the school.

    Reply
  15. Jana

    I had the same experience when I used crutches. However, when I’m carrying a carseat (with a baby inside) or holding a baby in my arms, the reaction is not quite the same. People actually ignore me and act as if I can wrestle a heavy door by myself. Maybe it’s just where I live.

    That’s surprising.

    Reply
  16. Rae

    I don’t eat pork for religious reasons, but I am still annoyed by the pork ban. I just can’t stand other people making decisions for me about what’s healthy or not – because they are often wrong! And it’s none of their business anyway.

    Bingo. Your choice is your choice, not something to impose on others.

    Reply
  17. PJ

    That college president is a complete ass. I would love to organize a protest in which every student brought a pig with them onto campus and into every class until the idiot caved. I’m picturing the pigs with clever sayings written on them while the students munch on bacon, ribs and pulled pork. Where are the attitudes and the rebellion of the 60s when you need it?!

    Beats me. We had a near-riot on our campus in the 1980s when the administration tried to crack down on weekend parties.

    Reply
  18. Beowulf

    I actually make a conscious effort to limit my bacon and sausage consumption to some extent. The stuff is SO tasty that I could have it everyday for breakfast. However, I respect that it’s a higher omega-6 meat, so I keep it to a few servings/week. I limit [though certainly don’t exclude] chicken fat (skin) for the same reason. I’m more than happy to chow down on fatty beef. I would raise hell if someone else told me how much of those two items I could eat, though.

    My school district actually does turkey sausage at the breakfast meals [when they have animal protein at all]. It probably started as a “health” thing, but it is convenient for the small but growing population of Muslim students in the district since they don’t eat pork.

    If your district is a public school, I don’t think they should be choosing menu items based on some students’ religious preferences.

    Reply
  19. Ben

    You better applaud to whatever the college president says, or you may have bigger troubles than pork deficiency. So I’d say at least half of the applauding students aren’t dimwitted, but instead very intelligent, in a machiavellian way at least.

    Could be.

    Reply
  20. Trina

    I’m going to stop reading the news (and ban my family if that’s possible). I finally (after months of work) convinced my mom to stop eating two slices of ww toast for breakfast and eat more eggs. This article came out Monday and she called right away – of course now she thinks I’m trying to kill her … all this nutrition “information” is beyond frustrating. It’s no wonder even the National Pork Board is confused … sheesh.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/13/egg-yolks-almost-as-unhealthy-as-cigarettes-study

    Spence is one of those goofs who believe observational studies based on food surveys are actually meaningful.

    Reply
  21. Elwin Ransom

    I’ll put on my conspiracy hat here and whisper quietly, “Maybe there’s another reason he banned pork. Maybe, just maybe, he banned all pork for another reason than ‘health’ – if you know what I mean. You know – like he wants the school to go – (wait for it) – Kosher.”

    That’s right.
    Paul Quinn College has secret plans to be the Hasidic Mecca of Dallas, Texas!
    (Wait. Did I just use Hasidic and Mecca in the same sentence? Umm… call it artistic license. Yeah, that’s the ticket…)
    Next thing you know, they’ll be instituting the full Kashrut!
    Just mark my words! I’m pretty sure I read it in a book called The Protocols of something or another…

    Wait. What were we talking about again? I forget.

    Anyway, all this conspiracy talk made me hungry.
    I think I’ll take off the tin-foil, throw together a ham and cheese omelet and surf the web some more…

    I’m not going to speculate on that one.

    Reply
  22. AQ

    I’m uncertain if this is actually a new episode or a re-run, but I nearly fell out of my chair when my mom told me that it yesterday’s Dr. Oz he declared both “Fat makes you fat” and “A calorie is a calorie” are MYTHS!

    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dieting-myths-debunked

    Apologies if you’ve already commented on this particular video already.

    That’s what’s frustrating about the Great Oz. He’s all over the place in his advice.

    Reply
  23. Kim

    Sorry to sound conspiratorial, but could this be a secret way to get campus Muslims what they want rather than it being truly about health?

    I loved your last line. So glad to hear you were treated compassionately on your crutches.

    I hadn’t thought of that. I’m not sure how much of a Muslim population there is at the school.

    Reply
  24. Don in Arkansas

    To Elwin’s conspiracy theory, I think not. 🙂 Especially since Paul Quinn is a predominately black college affiliated with the AME (African Methodist Evangelical) church. I think that if a ribs, bacon, & pulled pork place opened up just off campus, someone’s going to get rich.

    That does sound like a fine business opportunity.

    Reply
  25. Justine

    I think I’ve mentioned it in the comments before, but you guys should definitely look in to getting some ducks. My mom hasn’t had many problems with hers being eaten or flying off, and they keep the bug population down really well. Plus, the high-fat duck eggs make a nice bonus 🙂

    That might work. Or we might just be providing variety to whichever critter ate our guineas.

    Reply
  26. Don in Arkansas

    Shame about the guineas. My neighbor has guineas that roam free (so I have guineas too 🙂 ) He pens his guinea chicks with a hen as soon as they are born and leaves them caged for 2-3 weeks. The chick imprint on the hen and will stay pretty close to her and roost where she does. Any excess chicks he sells to the local Farm & Ranch store for $4 each.

    If you have a coyote problem you might contact your local game warden about trapping nuisance animals or see if there aren’t some varmint hunters in your area who would love to set up and try to call some in. I see them occasionally crossing my property and if I can get to my rifle soon enough I’ll take a shot at them. I’ve hit a few and scared a bunch as most of the shots are 200+ yards.

    I know we have coyotes in the area. I’ve heard them at night.

    Reply
  27. Lauren

    1. The student-applauding thing appalls me. And scared the *%&$ out of me also.

    2. It was amazed, when on crutches, how helpful people were. I had bus drivers drive extra ways to let me off, doors open, strangers carry meal trays – it was amazing.

    Hope the knee heels soon! ~ L

    Thank you.

    Reply
  28. PJ

    That college president is a complete ass. I would love to organize a protest in which every student brought a pig with them onto campus and into every class until the idiot caved. I’m picturing the pigs with clever sayings written on them while the students munch on bacon, ribs and pulled pork. Where are the attitudes and the rebellion of the 60s when you need it?!

    Beats me. We had a near-riot on our campus in the 1980s when the administration tried to crack down on weekend parties.

    Reply
  29. Caitlin

    I wonder if you’ve been recognized in public yet, given the popularity of Fat Head? I mean, just by the man on the street or your average helpful citizen, not on the cruise or LC speaking engagement. I can’t imagine that hasn’t happened yet.

    It’s happened a couple of times now, yes.

    Reply
  30. Bridget

    I am having a hard time believing that someone in Texas would ban bacon. I think I may have lost my faith in humanity just now.

    Reply
  31. Don in Arkansas

    To Elwin’s conspiracy theory, I think not. 🙂 Especially since Paul Quinn is a predominately black college affiliated with the AME (African Methodist Evangelical) church. I think that if a ribs, bacon, & pulled pork place opened up just off campus, someone’s going to get rich.

    That does sound like a fine business opportunity.

    Reply
  32. Justine

    I think I’ve mentioned it in the comments before, but you guys should definitely look in to getting some ducks. My mom hasn’t had many problems with hers being eaten or flying off, and they keep the bug population down really well. Plus, the high-fat duck eggs make a nice bonus 🙂

    That might work. Or we might just be providing variety to whichever critter ate our guineas.

    Reply
  33. Don in Arkansas

    Shame about the guineas. My neighbor has guineas that roam free (so I have guineas too 🙂 ) He pens his guinea chicks with a hen as soon as they are born and leaves them caged for 2-3 weeks. The chick imprint on the hen and will stay pretty close to her and roost where she does. Any excess chicks he sells to the local Farm & Ranch store for $4 each.

    If you have a coyote problem you might contact your local game warden about trapping nuisance animals or see if there aren’t some varmint hunters in your area who would love to set up and try to call some in. I see them occasionally crossing my property and if I can get to my rifle soon enough I’ll take a shot at them. I’ve hit a few and scared a bunch as most of the shots are 200+ yards.

    I know we have coyotes in the area. I’ve heard them at night.

    Reply
  34. Lauren

    1. The student-applauding thing appalls me. And scared the *%&$ out of me also.

    2. It was amazed, when on crutches, how helpful people were. I had bus drivers drive extra ways to let me off, doors open, strangers carry meal trays – it was amazing.

    Hope the knee heels soon! ~ L

    Thank you.

    Reply
  35. Caitlin

    I wonder if you’ve been recognized in public yet, given the popularity of Fat Head? I mean, just by the man on the street or your average helpful citizen, not on the cruise or LC speaking engagement. I can’t imagine that hasn’t happened yet.

    It’s happened a couple of times now, yes.

    Reply
  36. Bridget

    I am having a hard time believing that someone in Texas would ban bacon. I think I may have lost my faith in humanity just now.

    Reply
  37. Trina

    Thanks @ Ted Hutchinson! I will look those up. My MIL saw the news and called here tonight upset that we had told my FIL (just diagnosed pre diabetic) to eat some eggs instead of bread for breakfast. They’re in their seventies and trying to explain this stuff to them is torture. Extra difficult when the diabetes dietician he was sent to poo poo’d my advice and told him “everything in moderation” and that we “need” some sugar for our brains. Frustrating …

    Reply
  38. Trina

    Thanks @ Ted Hutchinson! I will look those up. My MIL saw the news and called here tonight upset that we had told my FIL (just diagnosed pre diabetic) to eat some eggs instead of bread for breakfast. They’re in their seventies and trying to explain this stuff to them is torture. Extra difficult when the diabetes dietician he was sent to poo poo’d my advice and told him “everything in moderation” and that we “need” some sugar for our brains. Frustrating …

    Reply
  39. Merope

    “” a thriving black market in ribs and bacon”
    Oh, I really like this idea! It would be so much fun!”

    Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. In december 2011, in the middle of a “butter crisis”, when the dairy industry here in Norway couldn’t deliver enough butter and stores were empty right before Christmas, a Russian national living in Germany was caught trying to smuggle 90 kilos of butter into Norway over the Swedish border, to sell on the black market. No joke!

    I’m not sure HE was having fun, at least the getting caught part, but I chuckled when I read about it in the news…

    Who would have ever thought butter would be a smuggler’s dream?

    Reply
  40. Merope

    “” a thriving black market in ribs and bacon”
    Oh, I really like this idea! It would be so much fun!”

    Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. In december 2011, in the middle of a “butter crisis”, when the dairy industry here in Norway couldn’t deliver enough butter and stores were empty right before Christmas, a Russian national living in Germany was caught trying to smuggle 90 kilos of butter into Norway over the Swedish border, to sell on the black market. No joke!

    I’m not sure HE was having fun, at least the getting caught part, but I chuckled when I read about it in the news…

    Who would have ever thought butter would be a smuggler’s dream?

    Reply

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