Put Away Corporate Robot Things and Love the Tap

No Bottled WaterAccording to the Water Information Program, the human body is more than 60 percent water. Blood is 92 percent water. The brain and muscles are 75 percent water. An average human can survive for a month or more without food, but only perhaps a week without water. Water rocks! According to the United Nations, 11 person of the world still lives without access to clean water. According to water.org, each year 3.4 million people die from diseases related to a lack of clean water. I am a big supporter of clean water!

What I am not a big supporter of is bottled water and Amerca’s obsession with it. If you are like 99 percent of Americans, you can walk into your kitchen and pour a nice big glass of clean life giving water. You can drink it down! Doesn’t that taste and feel good? Well, if it doesn’t, you are a fucking retard.

Look: I understand that there are various things found in tap water that can make it taste more or less good. And if you want to invest in a simple and cheap water filtration system, good for you. Or you could just drink the water cold, which gets rid of most of the taste. But bottled water, bought in bulk, costs about $3 per gallon. Those machines at the supermarket only charge 35 cents. Out of your tap is is less than a cent.

Not only this, bottled water is an environmental disaster. According to The Water Project, most water bottles cannot be recycled. As many as 80 percent of these bottles simply become litter. They take over a thousand years to degrade. There are now over two million tons of water bottles in US landfills. Manufacturing the bottles takes large amounts of energy. And best of all, it is estimated to take 3 gallons of water to create every gallon of bottled water.

Why am I on about this? Because I saw the following story about Ray’s & Stark Bar, an LA restaurant, that is offering a 23-page “water menu.” They say that water has a significant impact on how we taste food. Get it? It’s like a wine list. Only for water. The menu even provides “taste profiles” of the different water brands—most of which are shipped from outside the country. So you can add that onto your carbon footprint.

This is all pathetic. The essence of water is that it does not have much of a taste. This is why people have traditionally enjoyed ice water. It is not like wine that has a very distinct taste and a great variation. This is just a (smart) pretentious restaurant appealing to their (stupid) pretentious customers. But they are only slightly worse than people buying bottled water by the case at the grocery store. And I would note that very few people felt the need to carry water on them at all times until PepsiCo and Nestle started marketing their evil con game.

When I was a corporate robot, I spake as a corporate robot, I understood as a corporate robot, I thought as a corporate robot: but when I became a human, I put away corporate robot things.

Love the tap. Value the tap. Live the tap.

The State of Wim Wenders

Wim WendersThe great French landscape painter Claude-Joseph Vernet was born on this day in 1714. Interestingly, his son Carle Vernet—also a painter—was born on this day in 1758. (The grandson, Horace Vernet was the best painter of the the bunch, although he was born on 30 June 1789.) The Austrian Classical composer Leopold Hofmann was born in 1738. Here is his Cello Concerto in D major:

Physicist Hans Christian Orsted was born in 1777. He discovered that changing electric currents created magnetic fields. This is one of the critical experimental findings in the study of electromagnetism. The sickly dentist, gambler, and all around badass Doc Holliday was born in 1851. Mathematician Guido Castelnuovo was born in 1865. Novelist and playwright John Galsworthy was born in 1867. The great modern composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji was born in 1892. He was gay, but somehow the British government never got around to sterilizing him. Here is his Pastiche on Habanera from “Carmen” which is a lot of fun:

Musique concrete composer Pierre Schaeffer was born in 1910. Basically, he recorded different sounds and then put them together in a kind of aural collage. It is an artistic form that can be tiresome—see, for example, John Lennon’s “Revolution 9.” But in Schaeffer’s hands, it is quite interesting although hardly the kind of stuff you’d want to listen to for long. Here is Apostrophe:

Particle physicist Frank Oppenheimer was born in 1912. And architect Sverre Fehn was born in 1924.

Satarist Russell Baker is 88 today. I like this quote of his, “Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.” Both Lynne Cheney and David Crosby are 72. What a pair! Steve Martin is 68. He’s a smart and funny guy, but try as I might, I couldn’t find any video of him that I liked. Maybe that’s because I don’t think much of him as a stand-up. I always get the impression (and I think this is true) that he despises his audience for laughing at what he thinks of as pretty low humor.

Novelist Danielle Steel is 66. I’m not a fan, but there is no doubt that she is great at what she does. The great cartoonist Gary Larson is 63. Here is one of his brilliant pieces:

Chicken of Depression

Film composer James Horner is 60. Former general Stanley McChrystal is 59. Actor and one of my many crushes Marcia Gay Harden is 54. Actor Halle Berry is 47. And actor Adrian Lester is 45.

The day, however, belongs to the great film director Wim Wenders who is 68 today. He has some annoying habits, but when it works as it does in The American Friend and Paris, Texas it is great art. Here is the trailer for The American Friend, which I don’t think enough people have seen:

Happy birthday Wim Wenders!

Karl Rove and the Politics of Impotence

Karl RoveI think I may understand why Karl Rove sounds like the voice of reason in the Republican Party these days. Unlike most of the Republicans in Congress, he’s practical. To him, it is very simple: blocking everything that Obama proposes does not lead to Republican policy. Nor is it the case that just standing around blocking all policy will lead to a Republican White House and Congress. In fact, on Monday, the Washington Examiner published, House at Risk in 2014 Unless GOP Offers Agenda. According to the article, Republicans are quietly worried that they really could lose control of the House, even if the public statements assure us that it would be, “Pert near impossible.” And that is the kind of thing that Karl Rove is worried about.

Rove was debating the issue with Mike Lee on the Sean Hannity Radio Show on Monday. Rove said, “This assumes that the Democrats are going to be scared of a shutdown. They’re aren’t; they want it! They know what happened to us in 1995.” Lee responded that Rove was being a coward, “You mean to suggest that we’re not going to fight and we shouldn’t fight simply because we’re so afraid of being blamed for it? This is how we get into this mess when we say we’re afraid that the other side’s not going to cave so we have to. So we cave and we cave and we cave.” Note the framing: normal legislation within the limits of your power is caving. “Ignorance is strength” much?

It only gets worse. Jonathan Chait wrote an article this morning that suggests that we won’t see a government shutdown because the Republican establishment “is pushing back aggressively and effectively.” But that even if this is the case, it will only be a temporary reprieve. He flags an amazing National Review article by Robert Costa, Shutting Down a Shutdown. In it, he wrote, “Sources tell me the House GOP will probably avoid using a shutdown as leverage and instead use the debt limit and sequester fights as areas for potential legislative trades.” So instead of something bad (government shutdown), the Republicans will do something really bad (government default). Brilliant!

The problem here is the politics of impotence. At least half of the Congressional Republicans feel they must do something but they must not compromise their ideology. This makes them impotent because they simply don’t have the power to do what they want. Normally, a party would do what it must do to get the power it needed. That is certainly what people like Karl Rove want to do. But among the true believers, there is (as I’ve written about many times before) a revolutionary fervor. They think that if they just stand firm and believe, then the Democrats will just crumble. This is a very dangerous situation.

I don’t think that Rove is right to say that the Democrats want a shutdown. I think most of us would rather just have a reasonable party that we could deal with. But he is most assuredly right that the Democrats don’t fear a shutdown. It would be bad for the Republican Party. It could be just what the Democrats need to take back the House in 2014. But here’s the interesting thing: even if that happened, I don’t think that the Republican Party is ready to change. Even if they lost, the remaining members of the House Republican Caucus would claim that the problem was that they compromised too much. They would redouble their efforts at obstruction. And we would have to wait until 2018 to see any real changes. And that is what Karl Rove is worried about and it is why he is the most prominent voice of reason in that very troubled party.

Healthy Mom

healthcheck

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles and FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

I haven’t written in a very long time. It is a combination of us being busy with summer activities (I actually thought I would have more time to write) and me being very tired. The tiredness comes from me not really taking good care of myself, which I really should, especially due to the fact that I have what is called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This is basically an autoimmune disorder where my body makes things to attack my thyroid causing me to have low thyroid hormone levels.

Recently, I have started working with a medical specialist, an endocrinologist, experimenting with different medications and different levels of medications. I found out my body had not been using the common thyroid medication effectively, and I was really feeling it. In addition to thyroid, the doctor also has me on megadoses of B12 and D3. (Note to self: Pick up more B12.) He also gave me a book about stress and how to reduce it. I do tend to worry more than your average person. I have read from more than one source claiming that stress is a big factor in causing or exacerbating thyroid problems.

Right now my endocrinologist has me trying a medication called Nature-Throid. I really don’t like the fact that it comes from piggies, but my thyroid has not been effectively regulated, which causes me to be depressed, have lots of hair fall out and dry, itchy skin, and I’m tired a lot. At this point, I’m willing to take the Nature-Throid. It has all the different variations of thyroid the body makes, and they are in a balanced ratio. What I’m dealing with, though, is the fact that the doctor put me on a low dosage because it is a new medication. He wanted to make sure I didn’t experience any negative side-effects. So I’m going to get a thyroid test to see where I’m at and schedule my next appointment. This doctor also wants me to cut out the sugar. He is very anti-sugar.

My primary care physician, on-the-other-hand, is not really opposed to sugar intake. She feels that my thyroid issues are the result of an inflammation response to certain foods I’m eating and things in the environment. (See Food Sensitivies and ADHD.) She had me do an allergy skin test in which it was determined that I am sensitive to quite a few foods, including, no surprise, cow’s milk. This doctor has prescribed two months without any of the offending foods and for me to ingest a detox drink that includes lots of fiber.

Then I get the idea from on-line experts that I should include supplementation with vitamin A and all the B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and iodine, among others, and I should do my best to cut the flouride, something my son’s pediatrician also suggested for him. Some also suggest cutting out all grains. Both the endocrinologist and primary care physician say we don’t need them. Then, of course, everyone suggests exercise of some sort. Ayayay! It’s pretty overwhelming.

So who is right, the endocrinologist, my regular doc, or the on-line experts? Probably there is some validity to it all. I’ve been doing lots of research, lately, to see how I can incorporate all the ideas into a temporary eating plan and then a subsequent, on-going lifestyle that will also work for the family. As I’ve stated, I’ve been doing lots of research, but I’ve not come to any conclusions. The plan is still a bit fuzzy.

So why have I written a post about me and my health on a blog about ADHD? First of all, as the main caregiver in the house, if I don’t feel well it is difficult to actually do my job. Mostly, though, I feel it’s important to set a good example for my child. If I want him to be a healthy individual, I am being a hypocrite if I am not working toward good health myself. Since I’m the one doing the cooking it will, hopefully, benefit everyone in the family, anyway, and help alleviate some of the less positive ADHD behaviors in my son (and me). I will be occasionally writing on this specific topic as I am able to filter all the information, make out my menu plans, and schedule my exercise and doctors appointments. I will also tell you how I’m feeling as I make the various changes, and hopefully we can all find greater health with new habits. I think I will go take a nap now.