Friday, December 27, 2013

Looking Back

What did I accomplish in 2013?

Rode a motorcycle by myself, for the first time. Which turned out to be the only time. LOL!
Broke my leg, got a cast, walked with crutches for a while, all also firsts.
Got addicted to World of Warcraft and leveled a warlock to 90.
Sadly said goodbye to the coolest cat ever, Hector.
Except when laid up with injury or illness, kept working out regularly throughout the year, even got jogging up to over a mile without a walking break and pushed my time down.
I got to play some fun games that won't be discussed on a G-rated blog ;).
Drank too much wine.
Finally stopped smoking, although sometimes I still want one. Briefly. Then a few minutes later it goes away. Eight years it took to say this with confidence.
Hiked lots of mountains and went to lots of Tennessee places I've never been to, or even heard about.
Didn't have enough to put up, but did enjoy some homegrown, organic fruits and veggies.
Learned a lot about egg bound chickens and dog allergies.
Watched my son become more grown up and teach himself how to script (code).
Failed to pass my organic chemistry class, but certainly learned a lot about organic chemistry.
Learned a great many low carb recipes.
Entered a 5K but didn't run in it. Sick!
Almost paid off my credit card then ran it way back up again. Sigh.

Made some new friends....but also lost a few, as well.

Realized and accepted the fact that our species will not stop drilling for oil, burning coal, and trashing our habitat. We seem to be much like the pest infections that eat all the available food and then die in vast numbers. Inevitable? Because I do believe that by now, the global effects of these actions are irrevocable. Consequences.....will most likely be rather dire. I wonder if I will live to see the worst, or if my son will have to face that alone, with his peers.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I must think on this further:

"I'm glad you choose to see me the way you do."  ~ Walter Bishop, from Fringe

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oh dear

Allergies? A cold? Weakened immune system? Whichever, it's kept me from braving the cold, crisp air. And the thought of jogging in endless repetition around the hot, 1/7th mile track at the gym has kept me exercise-less, urgh. It's on my immediate to-do list...right after working on some chemistry homework, which I also haven't done. It's hard to think about electron pairs when your head hurts constantly :(

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


So yesterday I did a quickie little jog around the development across the street - about 12 minutes and up some hills! then I rounded out the workout with some elliptical time to about 1/2 hour altogether. I had a headache (although not while working out, hmmm) and tons to do. More to do today, also....maybe I can ride my exercise bike while I study genetics! Surely I won't break a leg doing THAT! Just a little ex-rider humor there LOL

Sunday, November 3, 2013

the Park

Today I was finally one of those people who spend more time on the greenway jogging than walking. Yayyy!  Of course I was going pretty slowly, but that will change over time. At least I'm not heaving with every single solitary breath! I've noticed I tend to get (short) second wind recovery at ~12 minutes, and again at ~25 minutes (there were a few 2-minute walking breaks in there), and ~32. There may have been more but those I noticed particularly.

Distance:  ~4.25 miles
Total time:    1 hour, or just under
Total time jogging:  45 minutes

Friday, November 1, 2013

Better, stronger, faster....

Ok, maybe not six million dollars but definitely a steady consistent increase in endurance and also, I believe, in pace.

Total time:   1 hour (added a little to the route)
Total time jogging:  45 minutes. Yeehaw!

Got the 5k to run on Nov 28 so it would be nice to get this time down, and if possible also do at least 3.1 miles a few times without any walking breaks. I think bumping up the route to 4.5 would be beneficial...gotta get the car out for that LOL!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


After organic chemistry exam jog at the gym at school:

Jogged 20 minutes (about 1 1/2 miles)
Walked 20 minutes ( call!)
Jogged another 20 minutes. Yayyy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I wanted to yesterday, but ran out of time ....LOL....

Did a 2 1/4 (roughly) quickie today -

Total time:  30 minutes
total time jogging:  26-27 although for some reason the math isn't quite adding up here....

Still feels good. Shut up, ankle. You're healed now.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Four miles down and wow are my legs are jiggly now  :)

Time (total):       ~56 minutes
Time (jogging):  42 minutes

I guess I need to enlarge this route a bit to keep it at 1 hour. Awesome!

Home to a big bowl of low carb lasagna. No pasta - just veggies, diced chicken, ricotta with an egg, and other cheeses, topped with a little salsa. Yum!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Another Four Bite the Dust

Time (total):        Just under an hour
Time - jogging:    39 minutes

Breathing returned to normal:  40 minutes after end of the run.
Face returned to normal color:   LOL!!

I think I do better going clockwise on the loop - then I hit the steeper hills when I'm winded and ready to walk more. I'm also taking Burton back but I hope that doesn't interfere with my mileage...must check with car. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Living it!

Low-carb staples; some must be available at all times:

Meat salad  ~ this can be eaten heated in a bowl, or cold wrapped in lettuce or romaine.
   -chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, canned or cooked
   - chopped veggies! Mushroom, cuc, cooked broccoli, green beans, asparagus, pickle, capers,   spinach, kale, cauliflower, summer squash
   -shredded brick cheese or cream cheese or goat cheese
   -seasoning or Worchestershire sauce or horseradish, etc

Boiled eggs

Chopped veggies and homemade ranch dressing for snacking

Crustless quiche or baked omelette-type thing with cheese and veggies in it, slightly undercooked so it won't get dry when it is warmed up.

Lunchmeat and romaine leaves for breadless sandwich rolls.

All natural nut butter and fruit

More to come later....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


A return to the 4-mile route today! I am pleased. My ankle, however, is a little grumpy now

Time (total):        1 hour
Time - jogging:  34 minutes

Breathing returned to normal:  45 minutes after end of the run.
Face returned to normal color:  I'll have to generate an addendum for that one. Longer than 1 1/4 hours I can say for certain!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tomato puree and juice idea....

I need to try this! But not this year, as I hardly got any tomatoes at all. Maybe next year.....

For the past 40 years, I’ve been making tomato juice and tomato purée using a deep freezer and minimal cooking.
When my excess tomatoes ripen in late August and I’m too busy to deal with them, I clean them, remove bad spots, and freeze them whole in their skins on a tray before bagging and storing them in the freezer.
When I have time to deal with the tomatoes, I decide how many I want to process, then dip the frozen balls in warm water and slip off the skins. I stack them in a dishpan and let them thaw for half a day. As the frozen tomatoes thaw, they release their juice as an almost colorless liquid. I dip this liquid out and it makes the best, freshest-tasting tomato juice ever (with or without salt added). This can be frozen or stored in the fridge for four to five days.
I drain the tomatoes until they become the consistency of sauce or purée. Then I run this mass through a blender and cook it for a few minutes before refreezing. I don’t remove the seeds, as I think they add food value to the tomato purée, but you can strain them out after a few minutes of cooking if you like. This is also a great way to make use of tomatoes that otherwise may not look the best for sale at your farmers market — and no canning necessary.
Jim Schmitt
Forest Grove, Pennsylvania

Read more:

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beating the Obesity


July 31, 2013, at 180 on my scale (which is always ~5 pounds less than the scale at the doctor's office, aggravatingly), on a 5'2" frame. Limiting carbs, eating them separate from fat and protein, and nominal to no sugar intake - although red wine is my favorite poison - I want to see a noticeable size and appearance difference in a month. The scale value is really the least of my concerns right now. I need to ride my recumbent bike because I still can't jog, and can hardly walk but the break is healing well I believe, and do some weights and resistance training again.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Boyles's Law of Green Bean Properties

Apparently green beans ALSO expand to fill the available, the available climbing space. The problem is I can't reach where the fruiting blossoms are....on the TOP :(

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Now...and Later

The motorcycle fell because I twitched the front brake, causing a fibula fracture.
No walking for at least 3 weeks. No running for....??

Since I'm laid up in bed I will not eat too much!!
I should exercise any way I can instead. 

I will return to my +4 mile route and kick some ass

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gettin' upscale!

Finally trying out a little aesthetics along WITH the utilitarian in the garden. On the trellis - hardy kiwi. Please, please, please bloom this year! I want to taste the kiwi so bad!

Art from the that stone tree. 

And a "sidewalk from Hobbiton" I found out hiking. I could LIVE there it was so awesome. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

...and a little comic relief

Jeff Gordon.....well I'm drooling!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Time Out for Pathology

E. coli Growth Inhibition As A Result Of Temperature Changes

            The use of Escherichia coli in laboratory settings has helped vastly increase the pool of knowledge regarding bacterial growth requirements and metabolic pathway utilization. For the binary fission used by prokaryotes to increase population size, sufficient nutrients for the production of building blocks along with an adequate energy source are required. E. coli is an organism that can synthesize from a carbon source all of their requirements for growth such as amino acids, pyrimidines, purines, and other necessary nutrients. (Todar, 2012) While there are different metabolic processes by which a cell can produce precursor metabolites and energy, some are much more efficient than others. When an optimal carbon source is not available, cells can still generate the macromolecules needed for growth but the rate of growth is slowed. Even when the ideal conditions for maximum cell growth are present, inevitably the growth rate will slow as resources are depleted. Once the limiting resource contributing to cell growth has vanished, cell breakdown will begin and eventually the cell population will enter the death phase. There are other environmental factors that can also adversely affect the rate of cell growth, such as pH, oxygen availability, the specific nutrients available, and temperature (Schussler, et all, 2012). Temperature is an important variable concerning almost all chemical reactions. Especially regarding organisms that have acclimated to the environment inside the human body, a lower temperature can cause an inhibited or even a lack of cell growth.
            To gain concrete knowledge of the optimal temperature for cell growth, an experiment was designed to provide data regarding the growth differential of E. coli at cooler temperatures rather than the assumed optimal temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, the internal temperature of the human body. A strain of wild type, nonpathogenic E. coli was grown in glucose as the organism to be subjected to experimental conditions. For the experiment, a growth medium of M9 was used. Glucose was added as a variable to elicit growth of the organism in both experimental temperatures, and as a control the organism was also grown in the M9 culture without any glucose. The two experimental flasks consisted of M9, glucose, and the E. coli strain. Both were agitated during the growth phase. One flask was cultured at 25 degrees Celsius and the other at 37 degrees Celsius, each for 90 minutes total. The control of M9 without glucose but also with the E. coli strain was also agitated and grown at 25 degrees Celsius, also for 90 minutes. The experimental cultures were duplicated so that each M9, glucose, and E. coli specimen replicated so there were two separate flasks for each temperature variable. Every flask was tested for culture population using the optical density calculated by a spectrophotometer. All the experimental and control flasks had the absorbance level measured at the beginning of the experiment to establish a baseline, and again after 30 minutes, at 60 minutes, and at 90 minutes. The density of the E. coli population was reflected in higher absorbance levels measured of the optical density by the spectrophotometer, providing a linear progression of cell growth and in certain populations, consequent die off, over a total of 90 minutes.
            The results of the experiment demonstrated that the control of M9 and E. coli with no glucose did not really grow. The averaged optical density from the multiple control flasks was around 0.6 at baseline and stayed the same at each 30-minute increment; this was to be expected because there was no carbon source for the organism to utilize for growth. The cultures of E. coli grown with M9 and glucose at 25 degrees Celsius did not demonstrate very much growth, with an averaged baseline of 0.6 that rose only to 0.825 at its highest measurement which was at 60 minutes. The following measurement at 90 minutes showed the culture population began decreasing, with an average absorbance value of 0.7. The most growth was seen, as anticipated, in the culture grown at 37 degrees Celsius. The baseline measurement of optical density was actually below 0.5 but over the consecutive 30-minute intervals, the culture growth increased to an optical density of 0.2, significantly higher growth than that seen when the culture was grown at 25 degrees Celsius.
            This study does confirm that E. coli grows best at a warm 37 degrees Celsius, as compared to a cooler room temperature level such as 25 degrees Celsius. The incorporation of agitation, which should provide optimal growth of a bacterial species by maximizing the rate of reactions in metabolic processes, did ensure that both of the experimental cultures had the benefit of maximum possible growth, thereby equalizing that particular variable. The control culture of M9 and E. coli, which did not show any population increase at all, demonstrated that the glucose added to the cultures was necessary for the possibility of any kind of growth. The E. coli cultures grown at25 degrees demonstrated only barely discernible growth and even entered a die-off phase much more quickly than would be expected, based on the extensive growth seen by the same organism at 37 degrees Celsius, suggesting that chemical reactions were so slowed by the 12-degree difference that not even the limiting resource was used up before the bacterial population lost what little ability it had for growth. Because the cooler temperature of 25 degrees Celsius severely inhibited the maximal growth potential for E. coli, it would be a logical conclusion that most enteric flora which has acclimated to the internal human body would be unable to demonstrate much growth of any kind if faced with a variable such as a slightly cooler environment. There are some bacteria species that do thrive in more hostile or extreme environments, but those are not organisms that have evolved residing in the human body such as E. coli. This experiment is a valid reaffirmation of previously acquired knowledge regarding the abilities and limitations of prokaryotes that live in close association with the human body. Additional study similar to this one could include a wider range of temperatures instead of just two differing temperatures, and also testing different strains of E. coli, especially pathogenic strains such as E. coli 0157:H7, foodborne strain that causes severely debilitating illness.
Schussler E, Hudson, J., Rowe E., Lemieux M., and Naswa S.(2012) Cell Growth and Metabolism. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Organization and Function of the Cell, Biology 140 Laboratory Manual. 17-23.
Todar K. Online Textbook of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin [internet] 2008-2012 [cited 2013 March 6] Available from:

Note to self: REMEMBER


Working 30/3 in the Positive

These individuals bring enthusiasm, compassion, understanding, and service into the world, in ways large or small, through their creative expression. Whatever their occupation, when they speak, they do so with attunement and sensitivity, and they uplift others. They are enthusiastic and connected to their emotions, and their expressiveness is passionate, forthright, and even inspired. They are honest in communicating their needs and feelings, neither manipulating nor allowing themselves to be manipulated. They manage their lives responsibly, not letting their own or other people's emotions run them. They use their inner gifts of expression, sensitivity, and intuition in the service of others, with a joy and altruism that further amplifies these resources, putting 30/3s in touch with the subtle aspects and mystery of existence.

Working 30/3 in the Negative

Depressed about the love they feel they lack from others, these individuals complain about the wrongs of society and of their life, feeling justified because there's much to criticize in this world. Needy and hypersensitive, they whine or manipulate instead of stating honestly and directly what they need, who they are, and how they feel. Some are completely blocked in their sexual natures, while others have trouble with emotional or sexual fidelity and often get into promiscuous situations.


Friday, February 8, 2013

My Statement

It seems I do not know how to embed a video AND create text in the same post, so here is my commentary:

What is this "greatest country" it a contest? Who decides what 'greatest' means anyway? Don't all countries have some good things, and some things that perhaps aren't so good? Don't nations, like people, change as they grow? Patriotism goes way overboard in the United States. It's irrational and unrealistic and it's also extremely arrogant to say "This is the greatest country in the world" and especially to believe it just because you hear it so much, or because you feel we are superior to everyone else in the world. Why this is touted so often by those who call themselves Christians, I don't know. This idea in no way is a tenet of the teachings of Jesus.

The only things worth defending in this country are the magnificent land and the people themselves. The governmental system does not deserve to be defended or preserved. It's bloated, corrupted, greedy, grasping, over-centralized and bullying, and has sold out to corporations and special interest groups. It does not represent the will of the people who live here. It does not function in the best interests of the people who live here. It does not accurately reflect the limits of responsibility and balance of powers laid out in the constitution. It fosters fear, resource greed and wastefulness, imperialism, xenophobia, arrogance, selfishness, divisiveness, inequality, and entitlement.

It is broken. Inevitably, it will fail.

 WOW! I do know am I inviting a rain of hell to fall upon me with this comment.

Guts to Speak the Truth

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Degradation of Freedom

When did these cultural gains, carved out over thousands of years of human governing mistakes, become negotiable?
  • Freedom of religion, which would preclude any form of religious government.
  • Access to equal health care, regardless of your personal income.
  • The right to vote for all citizens, regardless of the color of your skin, male or female, homosexual or heterosexual, property owner or not, wealthy enough to afford a state-issued ID card or not.
  • The right to not by spied upon by your own the government with drones or electronically taped conversations.
  • The right to a speedy trial, legal counsel, and to face your accusers.
  • The right to be safe from "cruel and unusual punishment."
  • The right to use birth control and, as is currently a right in this country, to have an abortion. 
  • A free press and the rights of reporters to do their job without being arrested or forced to lie or keep quiet or to maintain the status quo. 
  • The right to negotiate a fair wage for a fair day's work, or have someone do it for you. 
  • The right to demand safe working conditions.
  • The right to have sex, however yuo like, with any person or sex of person you choose, in private, if  you both agree and are consenting adults.
  • The right to be safe from penalty when you blow the whistle on lawbreakers.
  • Freedom of speech and no censorship by the government, or anybody else. This would include propaganda, which these days goes by the name of "spin."
  • The right to grow your own food. 
  • The right to grow plants from your own seeds without worrying about a lawsuit because of contamination and corruption by GMO seeds. 
  • The right to be informed about the nature of your food, from the manner of its inception and manufacture to factory-added additives, and the right to choose if you want to eat it or not, raw or not. 

These freedoms are under attack or already gone in America. So what's next? Against the law to criticize the government? Concentration camps? Don't forget, it wasn't just the Nazi regimen who used camps to detain portions of their nation's population. The US has done it, too. Who among the citizens of this country are closing their eyes so they don't see where this could be headed? It's true that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

You will notice I did not include the right to bear arms....although in this country, the cat is already out of the bag. Since the criminal element can and will chose to be armed, it is only fair to allow the populace to arm themselves, not only for self defense but also, as intended, to protect themselves from tyrannical government. That being said, in the wake of horrifying killing sprees that are significantly increasing in number, I personally have no problem with stricter guns laws. A collector, a hunter, someone who just appreciates quality....these persons surely should have no problem with a reasonable waiting time and background check before being allowed to purchase. But the problem is that if somebody really wants to get their hands on a gun., they will find a way inevitably. As far as assault rifles go, I honestly see no reason for those guns to be in the hands of any person. On the other hand, I do acknowledge the danger inherent in regulation. Once there is a path for restriction, more rights can be taken away much more easily later on down the road. What is the best answer? I don't know. Even in Star Trek they had weapons, albeit rarely used to kill. "Set phasers to stun...."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Breakfast Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Style

I can't stand those packets of flavored instant oatmeal. They are often tasty, but not truly filling. I also can't stand plain oatmeal, even when it's cooked with milk (heaven forbid the calorie count on that!) and topped with brown sugar or some such decadence. So I scoured the internet and discovered a baked oatmeal recipe containing, among other things, applesauce and chopped fruit. At last! This satisfied for several years but eventually I started to crave a different option. So after many recipe trials and many, many bowls of oatmeal for breakfast, I am please to share a wonderfully luxurious peanut butter breakfast oatmeal!

Baked Peanut Butter Cookie Oatmeal (my version)

2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use creamy, but if you like the crunchy kind, why not use that?)
3/4 cup milk
2 T melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Optional:  Banana, chocolate chips, nuts or seeds, and whatever else may strike your fancy

Mix the oats, sugars, baking powder, and salt until well integrated.

Then I make a little hollow in the dry ingredients and add the peanut butter, the melted butter, milk, egg, and vanilla (I'm so lucky to have an egg from my personal chicken, homemade vanilla, and peanut butter my mom made!). Stir it very well. Then, I put the mixture in a  sealable container and keep it in the fridge. Of course you could cook the whole thing right away in a greased, oven safe pan, at a preheated 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or longer if necessary. Personally, I prefer to cook it just before I eat it instead of reheating it every morning, so I preheat the toaster oven, grease a ceramic bowl, and sometimes add 1/4 of a cut-up banana, then 1/2 cup or so of the mixture, and top it with a few chocolate chips and bake if for the same amount of time, about 20-25 minutes, and voila! It's hot, fresh, delicious, and homemade! Sometimes I add the banana after I cook it, instead. If you like nuts or seeds, those could also be tasty toppings. My cousin adds chunks of energy or protein bars to top her oatmeal, I may try that soon too.

As is, for 8 servings in a batch, the nutritional information comes out to about 266 calories, 13 grams of fat, 17 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber, without adding the banana and chocolate chips, and using 2% milk. I'm going to try bumping it up to 3 cups of oats and keeping the rest of the recipe the same, because it IS quite sweet and yummy, and I'm actually trying for a more healthful recipe. But I haven't done that yet, so it may not turn out, although I'm hopeful it will *fingers crossed*!