Items from my inbox and elsewhere ….
You probably noticed (at least I hope you noticed) I haven’t posted for a while. We ended up taking a brief vacation to visit my family in Illinois. It was good to get away and visit with my mom, The Older Brother, his kids and grandkids, and my son Zack. It was also good not think about work or blogging or much of anything else for few days.
I was mentally lazy but physically active. On Saturday I played nine holes of golf with The Older Brother’s sons Eric and Grant. On Sunday, The Older Brother joined us for 18 holes. It was something of a belated sendoff to my dad. We played his favorite course and talked about him several times … partly because of what The Older Brother called Operation Ashes or something like that.
My dad was an avid golfer. He loved the game, but it didn’t love him back. He played as often as he could, but never developed a reliable swing. When I was kid, the bookshelves were full of books on how to play better golf, and the basement was full of golf clubs my dad had abandoned in a fruitless quest to find clubs that would swing themselves properly.
He would have loved it if The Older Brother and I had shown some interest in the game when we were kids. We didn’t. I didn’t start playing until I was nearly 30, and The Older Brother plays perhaps one round per year. But after I did take up the game, I spent a lot of weekend afternoons on that golf course with Dad. Those are some of my fondest memories.
The 17th hole was Dad’s nemesis … well, one of them. It’s a par three with a narrow fairway surrounded on both sides by water. Sand traps in front of the green shrink the fairway to a ribbon. If your tee shot doesn’t land on the green, you’re probably in trouble.
Dad’s tee shots often found the water. More than once, he turned to me after the splash and said, “When I die, dump my ashes in the water hazard on this hole so I can spend eternity with my golf balls.”
Operation Ashes was to honor that request.
He would have loved seeing the four of us out there, playing a round of golf together. My nephew Eric (who posted the now-famous Fat Head Pizza recipe) swats the ball like a pro. He hits the longest, straightest drives I’ve ever seen from an amateur. His leisurely backswing is a thing of beauty. It reminds me of what Bob Hope once said about Bing Crosby: “You can measure him for a suit during his backswing.”
My nephew Grant (who re-ignited my long-dormant interest in golf during his recent visit) is no slouch himself, despite only taking up the game a few years ago. Fortunately, The Older Brother and I ensured that slouches weren’t underrepresented in the foursome. We admired Eric’s and Grant’s shots, then saw to it that the local kids who sell golf balls they find out of bounds remain gainfully employed.
As we were approaching that dastardly 17th hole (it’s now the eighth hole because the front and back nines were flipped), The Older Brother’s Youngest Son Kenny joined us. We each took some of Dad’s ashes and poured them into the murky water. Mission accomplished.
With the little ceremony finished, Eric and Grant hit high, lovely tee shots that landed on the green. I chunked my tee shot, but the ball landed on that narrow strip of fairway in front of the green, bounced, and rolled on. Then The Older Brother pulled his tee shot into the water. Splash. Well, someone had to pay homage to Dad.
On Monday, I played 18 holes of disc golf at the local college course with Grant and Sara while Chareva and Alana baby-sat with Grant’s son. Then we finally headed back to Tennessee. As you might suspect, I was pretty worn out by the time we got home. On the other hand, I’m happy to be 60 years old and still able to engage in so much physical activity over a weekend.
I’m resistant to sunburn but not immune
Nine holes of golf, then 18 holes of golf, then an outdoor “Family Fun Day” at an Elks Club by the lake, then 18 holes of disc golf, with most of that time spent in the sun. Back in the day, I would gotten completely fried without sunscreen. I didn’t get fried, but my arms and legs finally went from browned to red. Turns out I’m not quite immune to prolonged sun exposure. The good news is that the redness is fading and I show no signs of peeling. Perhaps healthier skin not only doesn’t burn as easily, it recovers more easily when it is burned.
Scientists are freakin’ liars
A clinical study came out last year that compared people assigned to vegan, low-fat and low-carb diets. The conclusion? Low-fat diets are best for cardiovascular health – in fact, low-carb diets increase cardiovascular risk. Here’s part of the abstract:
One-year body mass changes did not differ by diet. One-year lowered-carbohydrate diet significantly increases cardiovascular risks, while a low-to-moderate-fat diet significantly reduces cardiovascular risk factors.
One of the authors was Keith Ayoob, who I refer to as Ayoob The Boob because he champions the arterycloggingsaturatefat! theory, commenting to the media that coconut oil is bad for us and other such nonsense.
So what do we make of a study like this? Turns out we shouldn’t make much of it at all. If you go to the listing for the study on pubmed.gov, you’ll find this:
The above article from Clinical Cardiology, posted online on September 27, 2018 in Wiley Online Library (onlinelibrary.wiley.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, A. John Camm and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The article has been withdrawn due to concerns with data integrity and an undisclosed conflict of interest by the lead author.
Concerns with data integrity … yeah, that tells us all we need to know.
Sorry if I’m typing slowly … I have Avocado Hand
Yeah, I never heard of it either. But according to CBS News, Avocado Hand is a growing problem:
The number of injuries caused by improper handling and cutting of avocados is on the rise. The U.K. newspaper The Times reports that the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons is seeing a growing number of patients in the emergency room as a result of “avocado hand” – injuries from failed attempts to cut an avocado.
What the heck is wrong with those Brits? They can’t slice up an avocado without severing a finger? Must have something to do with all those years of sticking out a pinky while drinking tea.
Stateside, doctors say they’re seeing a similar trend.
Oh. Sorry, Brits.
A flurry of social media posts have emerged with people sharing their own tales of avocado hand injuries.
Excellent. Because people just don’t share enough stupid @#$% about themselves on social media.
Experts recommend against cutting an avocado while holding it in your hand; instead, slice into it on a cutting board.
That seems rather obvious … but it’s nice to know our big, beautiful world contains experts in how to cut an avocado.
What kind of nuts write these laws?
In Fat Head, Reason Magazine editor and writer Jacob Sullum pointed out that regulations are often based on the belief that most people are stupid. A recent article in the U.K. Daily Mail provides a rather nice example of that belief in action:
Health and safety rules have been ridiculed after a brand of peanut butter was withdrawn because the jar does not warn it contains nuts.
The Whole Earth product is called ‘3 Nut Butter’ and makes plain on the front of the label that it contains walnuts and pecans as well as peanuts.
But thousands of the £2.50 jars, available in major supermarkets such as Tesco, are being recalled because they breach rules which state there has to be a nut allergy warning in English on the jar.
The article includes a picture of the jar. It’s right there on the label for everyone to see: 3 Nut Butter. Peanut, Pecan & Walnut. So apparently the regulatory goofballs want another label that reads: Warning! This product, which is clearly made of peanuts, pecans and walnuts, CONTAINS NUTS.
As do many government agencies.
What kind of boobs write these laws?
Here’s a bit from my old standup act about the day Sara was born:
Women have been breast-feeding for hundreds of thousands of years, but nowadays when you have a baby, the hospital sends in a breast-feeding consultant. Someone to sit there and watch and make sure Mom knows how to do it.
Well, I dunno, the guy did seem to know what he was talking about. We never got those pictures he promised us; that was kind of disappointing.
Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but the hospital did send in a lactation consultant. Didn’t occur to me to ask if she was licensed. Frankly, I don’t care if she was licensed. But the boobs in government do:
More than a quarter of American professions require a license, compared to just one-twentieth in the ’50s.
Well, you all remember how millions of Americans died in the ‘50s because of unlicensed service providers, don’t you? Something had to be done.
For fiscal conservatives, it’s a sign of the growing crawl of government into the pocketbooks of citizens trying to make a living, leading to such bizarre outcomes as hair braiders requiring more training hours than EMTs.
Well, you all remember how millions of Americans used to die from bad hair braids, don’t you? Something had to be done.
The next policy battleground? Breastfeeding. Starting last month, the Peach State found itself with a shortage of lactation consultants. That’s because two years ago, the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a law requiring all experts to complete 14 college courses in health science, 90 hours of breastfeeding education and 1,000 clinical hours, as well as pass a written exam.
When the lactation consultant visited Chareva, it took her roughly 10 minutes to say all she had to say. I can certainly see how 14 college courses in health science, 90 hours of breastfeeding education, a thousand hours of clinical work and a written exam would be necessary. You all remember the days when millions of American newborns died because their mothers couldn’t figure out how to stick the kid on a boob, don’t you?
States are often called the laboratories of democracy for good reason, but few see them as testing grounds for nursing a newborn. Yet that’s what states like Georgia are becoming with the decision to police a profession that operated “just fine” untouched, says Buzz Brockway, a state legislator who voted against the law during the 2015–16 session.
In this case, Brockway didn’t see evidence of bad breastfeeding tips leading to illness or death. In fact, the legislation was not driven by cases of dire outcomes from sketchy breastfeeding advice.
No kidding. So here’s the real reason the law was passed:
The main beneficiaries of the legislation are universities that provide general health courses and now get a new customer base, as well as the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), which became the only certification group legally allowed to issue licenses in Georgia. The board generates hundreds of dollars per applicant in examination fees.
With this kind of nonsense coming from legislators, next thing you know, they’ll be passing laws saying you need a license to give nutrition advice. No, wait …
What kind of boobs … boobs … boobs … sorry, I was just getting myself into a positive mindset
The New York Post published an article on how men can live longer. Avoid processed carbs and get some exercise, you say? Nope. Here’s the top suggestion:
1. Stare at boobs
It may seem like an inconvenience or an invasion of privacy to many women, but staring at boobs creates a positive mindset in men.
I’m a very positive person. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
The same effect occurs when they look at cute animals.
Well, if I have to choose …
A 2012 study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at the effects positive thinking had on men’s health. After a year, positive thinking had a powerful effect on health choices.
Uh … I’m still not seeing the connection between living longer and staring at boobs.
More than half of the patients with coronary artery disease increased their physical activity versus 37 percent in the control group, who were not asked to write down positive thoughts in the morning.
Ah, I see. A guy stares at boobs, and this puts him in a positive mindset. Then, because of the boob-induced positive mindset, he gets up the next morning and writes down positive thoughts (perhaps about boobs), which in turn prompts him to become more physically active.
Let me write down a positive thought of my own: I’m positive if I take up staring at boobs and tell Chareva I’m just trying to extend my lifespan, my lifespan will be in danger of ending shortly thereafter.
By the way, the other suggestions for men on how to live longer were, in order: have lots of sex, get married, have kids, be responsible, and get a “dad bod.”
Sex, marriage, kids, responsibilities … yeah, that’s what happens when you stare at boobs.